HIV Prevention: Include Women-Centered Technologies, Comprehensive Sex Education

Armen Hareyan's picture

Pledges made by the Group of Eight industrialized nations in 2005 were "not only about HIV/AIDS treatment," Adrienne Germain, president of the International Women's Health Coalition, writes in a New York Times letter to the editor in response to a recent Times editorial. According to Germain, the G8 also "committed to scaling up HIV prevention because we will never reach treatment goals unless we also prevent new infections."

Some experts estimate that "for every person in sub-Saharan Africa newly treated for AIDS last year, five more were newly infected," Germain writes, adding that women in sub-Saharan Africa "shoulder a disproportionate number of these new infections, and their share is increasing in many other places around the world." Effective HIV prevention "policies will require increased investment in sexual and reproductive health services that women use; comprehensive sexuality education that teaches young people to respect and protect each other; and microbicides and female condoms, which put the power of prevention in women's hands," Germain concludes (Germain, New York Times, 6/25).

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