Gender-based Violence: A Neglected Barrier to Women's Engagement in HIV Services

15 September 2017

Today, there is widespread recognition that gender-based violence (GBV) is a human rights violation and pervasive global health challenge with many consequences for women and girls including physical injury, psychological trauma, unwanted pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.  We need to take stock of emerging evidence which shows that GBV has a significant impact on women’s use of HIV services, including HIV testing, and care and treatment for those living with HIV. Women’s decreased use of HIV services jeopardizes their own health and well- being as well as broader public health aims, namely UNAIDS 90-90-90 goals for ending the AIDS epidemic through increased uptake of HIV testing, and greater initiation and adherence to anti-retroviral therapy (ART), and viral suppression.  Looking ahead, policymakers and donors must recognize the additional role GBV plays as a barrier to women’s engagement in critical HIV services, and support efforts to stop violence and mitigate its damaging effects on women and girls.

Read the full article online here.