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Violence against women and girls is an unacceptable violation of basic human rights. It also is so widespread that ending it must be a global public health priority. An estimated one in three women is beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused by an intimate partner during her lifetime. Intimate partner violence has been shown to increase the risk of HIV infection by around 50%, and violence (and the fear of violence) deters women and girls from seeking services for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
Women may make up half the world’s population, but they do not share it equally. This is especially evident when it comes to HIV. Half of all people living with HIV are women, yet many are underserved or do not know their status. Despite the many successes we have seen, women still face inequalities that will keep the AIDS response from reaching its full potential.