While HIV/AIDS is a health issue, the epidemic is a gender issue. Statistics prove that both the spread and impact of HIV/AIDS are not random. HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects women and adolescent girls who are socially, culturally, biologically, and economically more vulnerable. The figures are alarming: 19.2 million of the 38.6 million adults (aged 15-49) living with HIV/AIDS are women. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 58 per cent of the HIV positive adults are women; in the Caribbean, the proportion has reached 50 per cent. Globally, the incidence of HIV/AIDS among women has risen at a shocking rate. In 1997, 41 per cent of HIV infected adults were women and this figure rose to 50 per cent at the end of 2002. Women's empowerment is one of the only HIV vaccines available today. As the only women's fund at the United Nations, UNIFEM is determined to ensure that gender equality does not remain a lofty ideal, but becomes a guiding principle in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
This web portal is where you can find cutting edge research, studies and surveys; training materials; multi-media advocacy tools; speeches and presentations; press releases and current news; best practices and personal stories; campaign actions and opinion pieces by leading commentators. www.GenderandAIDS.org offers these and other up to date resources on the gender dimensions of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
By providing access to a variety of materials in one place, information can be retrieved quickly and easily, thereby reducing the amount of time spent locating key resources and materials on the Internet. Resources are organized by topic, type, and region and the entire site is fully searchable. Short summaries are provided for each of the resources to give visitors to the site a quick overview of each of the materials.
The web portal also offers interactive features such as: registration for email alerts when the site is updated and new materials are added; feedback forms for comments, ideas, and suggestions for improvement of the site; on-line forms for sending materials and resources you would like to include in the site; and surveys and opinion polls on specific issues.
In the future, this web portal will expand to include an experts database/roster that will serve as a certifying and networking service for national, regional and global gender and HIV/AIDS experts who can provide technical advice at all levels. The roster will include experts with skills in areas such as gender analysis, mainstreaming gender into HIV/AIDS plans, programmes, and policies, training in gender, human rights and HIV/AIDS, programme formulation, research and documentation, advocacy and media skills relating to gender, human rights and HIV/AIDS.
Portal address: http://www.genderandaids.org