Gender-Related Barriers to Services for Preventing New HIV Infections Among Children and Keeping Their Mothers Alive and Healthy in High-Burden Countries

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Nudelman A.

The rapid assessment elicited basic gender and cultural perceptions and beliefs related to HIV, to people living with HIV in general and to women, in particular that posed barriers to the uptake of and adherence to HIV services. The findings revealed, across all sites, substantive gaps in comprehensive HIV knowledge, with cultural perceptions and beliefs about HIV and gender roles often acting as effective deterrents to service access. Women were frequently blamed for spreading HIV, resulting in considerable stigma and discrimination against women living with HIV, as well as limiting utilization of and adherence to HIV services. Moreover, unequal gender relations and women's socioeconomic dependency - and related fear or occurrence of violence and abandonment - were found to limit their decision-making power regarding accessing HIV and maternal health services.