Statement at the 31st PCB under agenda item 2.0 Gender-sensitivity of AIDS responses
On behalf of the International AIDS Society, we are very encouraged by the bold leadership shown by UNAIDS and UN women to address the gender gap in the HIV response, and the progress made. In particular we applaud the statement made by Dr. Michelle Bachelet, as also stated in the report, in recognizing the need for data to be disaggregated by sex and gender.
It is imperative that gender is an integral part of every level of the HIV response and that our programmes are shaped to serve women, men and transgender people, and these considerations must also be integrated in research and data collection. Women are often under-represented in HIV research; gender-based analysis of data is seldom performed, and differences or similarities between men and women rarely reported.
Sex and gender are valid variables that can influence well-being and health outcomes, and must systematically be taken into consideration across the research process and in programme evaluation to ensure excellence in science and effective programming. And to ensure that the HIV response is as evidence-based for women as it is for men.
High-level engagement and political leadership are crucial if actions are to lead to structural changes. We hope that UNAIDS can ensure gender mainstreaming across all policies and adequate funding, and establish mechanisms to monitor implementation, and address non-compliance.