The Gender-Based Violence Initiative, which was launched by PEPFAR in 2011, was designed to integrate GBV prevention and response into existing HIV prevention, care and treatment programs at health facility, community and policy levels. Women and girls are at high risk of contracting HIV and Adams stated at the event that the “risk of HIV can be three times as high for women who have experienced violence than those who have not, and in some cases, sexual violence can lead directly to HIV infection.” As a result, the international public health community recognizes that addressing harmful gender norms and inequities, and preventing and responding to gender-based violence are essential strategies for reducing HIV risk; mitigating its impact; and increasing access to services.
According to Adams, the objectives of the $55 million, three-year, interagency initiative were to demonstrate gender-based violence prevention and response could be integrated into the existing PEPFAR platform, and to understand what the best approaches are for achieving a successful integrated response both in clinical facilities and in community facilities. The event was put together so that participants and panelists could have the opportunity to share lessons, discuss what was learned in the three countries and in the trial, and to look at what we need to do moving forward.
Click here to learn more about the initiative or to access the Synthesis Report and the individual reports from all three countries.
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