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HIV and AIDS social issues

In many regions, social issues increase the risk of HIV infection making it difficult to tackle the global HIV epidemic effectively.

Certain groups of people are more affected by HIV than others. Sometimes this is because they engage in high-risk behaviours, while others experience stigma and discrimination that stops them from approaching HIV services.

It is important that these issues are well understood so that specially tailored prevention programmes can be rolled out and target to those groups most at risk of HIV.

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Rainbow LGBTI umbrella
HIV disproportionately affects people belonging to certain populations, such as men who have sex with men and sex workers.

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Man with red ribbon over his mouth
Stigma and discrimination persist everywhere, and continue to prevent HIV services from reaching the people who need them most.

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A rainbow armband
Homosexuality is illegal in 73 countries. As a result, many men who have sex with men face high levels of homophobia and can't access HIV services.

Woman in Malawi selling fruit

Woman in Malawi selling fruit
Tackling gender inequality is key to reducing women’s vulnerability to HIV and achieving wider development goals.

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Women and girls in Zam Zam camp, North Darfur, perform traditional Darfuri dances at an event organized by UNAMID Human Rights
The promotion and protection of human rights is essential in order to ensure an effective response to HIV and AIDS.

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Last updated:
10 August 2016