Time to deliver on gender and HIV/AIDS.
This summer, more than 25,000 people from around the world gathered in Toronto to share new knowledge, experiences, and good practices in the worldwide battle against HIV/AIDS HIV/AIDS Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome . The International AIDS Society The International AIDS Society (IAS) is an international society for scientists, health care and public health workers, and others engaged in HIV/AIDS prevention, control and care. chose "Time to Deliver" as the conference's theme, arguing that we already have the evidence and tools necessary to deal with the pandemic pandemic /pan·dem·ic/ (pan-dem´ik)
1. a widespread epidemic of a disease.
2. widely epidemic.
Epidemic over a wide geographic area.
n. : what we lack are "the resources and the collective will to translate that knowledge and experience into broadly available treatment and prevention programs."
Part of what is also lacking in the "collective will" is a willingness to address gender. Despite a wealth of research on the role of gender in the pandemic, despite inspiring advocacy work by and for women living with HIV/AIDS, the needs of women and girls and gender considerations continue to be stunningly underrepresented un·der·rep·re·sent·ed
Insufficiently or inadequately represented: the underrepresented minority groups, ignored by the government. in research, advocacy, and political agendas.
The International AIDS Conference Education, networking and the promotion of best practice are essential to enhancing the response to HIV/AIDS. IAS conferences provide opportunities to share experience, and increase the knowledge and expertise of professionals working in HIV/AIDS. itself is a case in point. During the 2002 conference in Barcelona, a mere 9.6 percent of posters, papers, or plenary presentations made mention of women and/or girls. Far fewer of these presentations focused on the needs of women and girls or on the gender dimensions of the pandemic. Two years later, at the International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, females appeared in just 8.3 percent of the program. Although women and girls were mentioned more frequently at the Toronto conference than in previous conferences, a preliminary analysis of the program suggests that gender analysis of the pandemic is still sadly lacking. Among sessions identified by conference organizers as having a gender component, more than one third did not mention either women or girls and many of those that did focused on sex differences rather than gender.
This issue of the Research Bulletin aims to redress this lack of attention to issues of gender and HIV HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), either of two closely related retroviruses that invade T-helper lymphocytes and are responsible for AIDS. There are two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is responsible for the vast majority of AIDS in the United States. . Beginning with a backgrounder back·ground·er
An informal news briefing for reporters by an official often speaking off the record.
Noun 1. backgrounder on the ways in which sex and gender function to make women and girls susceptible to HIV, this issue offers the reader material to both better understand the epidemic and to begin to think through our responses to it.
For example, media representations of the epidemic continue to emphasize HIV transmission through sexual activity and/or injection drug use, and the life-extending impact of anti-retroviral therapies. However, we are only beginning to talk about the complex issues involved in infant feeding that arise when a mother has HIV/AIDS and we are only now coming to understand the connections between childhood trauma (including sexual, emotional, and physical abuse) and subsequent isolation from one's family and community, substance use, and women's risk of contracting HIV. Given complex issues of trauma, we can now better understand the relationship between these experiences and other social inequalities that shape the lives of some of Canada's Aboriginal peoples--it is no wonder that Aboriginal women face a disproportionate risk of HIV infection in Canada.
Clearly, we need an array of responses to reduce the risk of HIV infection and/or ameliorate a·mel·io·rate
tr. & intr.v. a·me·lio·rat·ed, a·me·lio·rat·ing, a·me·lio·rates
To make or become better; improve. See Synonyms at improve.
[Alteration of meliorate. its effects. Moreover, these responses need to be developed with sex and gender in mind. Given, for example, the increased rate of HIV infection among women from heterosexual transmission, the historic failure to tailor HIV/AIDS education and prevention messages and resources to young heterosexual men has had serious consequences--for both men and women.
We are learning that services originating in earlier phases of the epidemic are not necessarily appropriate for those who are currently infected. For example, are current counselling and other social support services support services Psychology Non-health care-related ancillary services–eg, transportation, financial aid, support groups, homemaker services, respite services, and other services meeting the needs of women with HIV? Are palliative care palliative care (paˑ·lē·ā·tiv kerˑ),
n an approach to health care that is concerned primarily with attending to physical and emotional comfort rather programs providing the kinds of education and support that caregivers for people with HIV/AIDS need? Are we using our program skills and resources to transform gender relations in ways that empower women and men, girls and boys to increase control over their health and their risks for HIV?
Given the evolving nature of the epidemic, both in Canada and worldwide, and our increasing understanding of how sex and gender are shaping this epidemic, it is long past "time to deliver" on gender and HIV/AIDS. We have recognized the problem; it is time to act.
for Women's Health Women's Health Definition
Women's health is the effect of gender on disease and health that encompasses a broad range of biological and psychosocial issues.
Manager, Research and Policy
British Columbia British Columbia, province (2001 pop. 3,907,738), 366,255 sq mi (948,600 sq km), including 6,976 sq mi (18,068 sq km) of water surface, W Canada. Geography
Centre of Excellence
for Women's Health