UNDP, 2003. 207 p.
It is now well accepted that HIV/AIDS is a challenge for the world community as it transcends boundaries of nation, class, ethnicity and sexual preference. Over the years, research has shown that HIV is not random in its spread or its impact. An intersection of several variables - poverty, urbanisation, gender inequality and stereotypical gender roles - impacts upon vulnerabilities. Significant factors - such as lack of autonomy for women and girls, discrimination against sexual minorities, abuse of power, lack of basic services, and violence against women - play a key role in determining the most vulnerable constituencies in society. Human poverty reduces the ability of people to control their circumstances and make choices. Poor people are forced by economic imperatives into living conditions and occupations in which risks to life and health are endemic. In countries that are experiencing widespread impacts of HIV/AIDS, it has been found that prevention initiatives can work only if enabling environments are created for people to effect change in their lives that would help them practice safe behaviour consistently. Linking HIV/AIDS-related indicators to human development parameters representing long and healthy life, knowledge and a decent standard of living, would support dialogue with policymakers and stakeholders to set the course for considered action. This report highlights South Asia's substantial challenge, both in terms of human deprivation and vulnerability to the epidemic. It argues for a comprehensive intersectoral response based on the recognition of the linkages between human development and HIV/AIDS. This document has been prepared by the UNDP's Human Development Programme in collaboration with UNAIDS.
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