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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Linking efforts to prevent gender-based violence and HIV: Using the nexus of sexuality, health and human rights in a pilot project in China, India, Thailand and Vietnam

Sofia Gruskin, JD, MIA1, Shahira Ahmed, MPH1, Laura Ferguson, MS1, Susana Fried, PhD MCRP2, and Mindy Jane Roseman, JD, PhD3. (1) Program on International Health and Human Rights, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, 651 Huntington Ave, 7th Floor, Boston, MA 02115, (2) Consultant, 170 15th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215, 1-718-791-6863, susana.fried@gmail.com, (3) Human Rights Program, Harvard Law School, Pound Hall 401, Cambridge, MA 02138

Issues: Testimony from women around the world reveals that women's vulnerability to HIV is rooted in pervasive gender inequalities. Acceptance of gender inequality contributes to the neglect and violation of human rights more generally, and is often the intersection linking vulnerability with gender-based violence (GBV) and HIV/AIDS. Despite the obvious need, few programmatic examples exist of how organisations can address these issues synergistically.

Description: With technical support from the Program on International Health and Human Rights, Harvard School of Public Health, this project brings together organizations in each program country: one HIV-focused and one GBV-focused using the nexus of sexuality, health and human rights to facilitate their ability to collaborate.

Lessons learned: The project has strengthened the ability of these groups to operate effectively. In the context of pinpointing the intersection of GBV and HIV, a rights-based understanding of sexuality and vulnerability provides an essential bridge. Partners are building joint programs accomplish their goals from training on HIV for GBV hotline counsellors, to establishing baseline knowledge of both issues among marginalized groups. The diversity of organizational foci and structures has enriched the partnerships and provided insights for all the country teams, while drawing out more generalizable lessons.

Recommendations: Addressing the lack of understanding and the mutually exclusive character of many HIV/AIDS and GBV initiatives through joint initiatives that highlight sexuality and rights must be urgently prioritized.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

    Keywords: Violence, HIV/AIDS

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:

    Not Answered

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    The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA