Notwithstanding the efforts and progress made in responding to the HIV needs of women over the last thirty years of HIV response, gender inequality and unequal power relations between women and men continues to have a significant impact on the HIV epidemic.
Women who use drugs and women living in prisons, in particular, have unique vulnerabilities to HIV which lead to far higher rates than men of HIV infection, but less access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services.
While biological differences make women up to four times more susceptible to HIV infection than men, other factors such as violence, poverty and lack of financial independence have their influence too. Women also face shame, stigma and discrimination caused by societal and gender norms, including judgmental attitude and invasive questioning, discouraging them from accessing HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services.
To learn more about women who use drugs and women living in prisons, and UNODC's response, please open the links below: