HIV/AIDS

Ensuring equitable access to antiretroviral treatment for women

WHO/UNAIDS policy statement


25 November 2004

WHO and UNAIDS are actively promoting the scale-up of programmes to deliver antiretroviral therapy (ART), with the aim of reaching three million people by the end of 2005 ('3 by 5 Initiative'). Equity in access to HIV treatment is a critical element of the '3 by 5' and will contribute to the broader 'right to health' for all. Attention must therefore be given to ensuring access to ART and other treatment, care and prevention, for people who risk exclusion including on the basis of their sex. Currently there is limited information available on the sex and age distribution of those receiving ART, however, we know that gender-based inequalities often affect women's ability to access services. Attention is therefore required to ensure that women and girls have equitable access to ART as it becomes available.

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