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Violence against women and girls is an unacceptable violation of basic human rights. It also is so widespread that ending it must be a public health priority. An estimated one in three women is beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused by an intimate partner during her lifetime. Intimate partner violence has been shown to increase the risk of HIV infection by around 50 per cent, and violence (and the fear of violence) deters women and girls from seeking services for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
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The AIDS response is producing exciting results and we can already foresee a time when the AIDS epidemic could end. Yet, the promises of science, politics and economic development will not be realized if we do not unite with women against violence as an integral part of the HIV response.
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The findings of this assessment indicates that gender-related barriers pose significant obstacles to the uptake of services that prevent new HIV infections among children and keep mothers alive—obstacles that require urgent attention. Without dedicated attempts to overcome these gender-related barriers, current efforts will meet with limited success, and the needs and rights of both women and children will remain compromised.
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The State of World Population 2012 explains why family planning is a right, examines the challenges in ensuring that all women, men and young people are able to exercise that right and suggests actions that governments and international organizations can take to give everyone the power and the means to decide freely and responsibly how many children to have and when to have them.
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The High-Level Meeting on AIDS took place in 2011. More than 30 Heads of State, Government and Vice-Presidents attended the meeting. On the final day of the High-Level Meeting on AIDS, UN Member States adopted a resolution which will guide country responses to HIV over the next five years.
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Studies indicate that the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has changed in a number of ways. Most encouragingly, the practice is declining. This can be observed when looking at data from countries in which at least two surveys are available, showing that the prevalence has reduced in a number of countries.
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This report examines a number of success stories in the fight against HIV. Examples come from countries such as Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Nigeria and the Caribbean region.
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Case studies from Ethiopia, Malawi, Nepal, and Rwanda: The case studies highlight policy innovations to improve and accelerate access to sexual and reproductive health, improved outcomes, and continuing actions to achieve universal access.