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International AIDS Conference Must Focus On Combination Prevention Strategies To Fight AIDS Among Women

Highlighting statistics showing how HIV affects more women than men worldwide, Serra Sippel, president of the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), writes in a Huffington Post “Global Motherhood” blog post, “The XIX International AIDS Conference is coming to Washington, D.C., in two weeks and it must be different from its predecessors for one reason: HIV is now a woman’s plague.” She continues, “Our HIV policies and interventions have to respond accordingly or we will never create the AIDS-free generation that [Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration have committed to build — where vertical transmission of HIV from a woman to her child is significantly reduced, where HIV-free girls and boys grow up with all the prevention options they need, and those who do acquire HIV have access to treatment.”

“We can’t afford to be myopic in our responses anymore. We have to focus on the whole package, or we’re willingly putting an entire generation of women at risk,” Sippel writes, saying that the employment of prevention methods unaccompanied by others will not fulfill their potential. Combination prevention is “logical: Give everyone affordable access to medical interventions, tools and information, and respect human rights,” she states, adding, “It’s also our only option if we’re sincere about creating an AIDS-free generation, because it targets everyone, including women. And we can’t even begin to address HIV if we don’t address the majority of the pandemic” (7/11).

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