PEPFAR Consultation on Gender-based Violence, Washington, DC, May 6-7, 2010
Gender-based violence (GBV) continues to be a human rights issue with significant health implications. GBV continues to exacerbate the HIV epidemic. A fear of violence often stymies a woman’s ability to access prevention, social support, and treatment for HIV. According to Ambassador Melanne Verveer, U.S. Ambassador-at-large for Global Women’s Issues, “the Global Health Initiative’s focus on women and girls [and gender equality], due to the disproportionate affect of HIV on younger women and girls (girls are 2.5 more likely than boys to contract HIV), is not just the right thing to do but the smart thing to do.” As stated by Ambassador Goosby, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, the moment to address GBV within the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the State Department’s Global Health Initiative (GHI) is now and there is “real anticipation for the future” amongst these agencies in addressing GBV and HIV.