INTERNATIONAL: HIV Gel Called Poor Substitute for Women's Rights

Thursday, July 29, 2010
Womens Enews
Western Asia

Some advocates at last week's International AIDS Conference greeted news of the results of an HIV gel coolly, saying more was needed than a "medicalized" response to an epidemic that travels a social pathway of infringed women's rights.

The preventive benefits of an HIV vaginal gel dominated the headlines of the International AIDS Conference in Vienna last week, but failed to allay the concerns that Mabel Bianco has about the public-health response to the epidemic.

Like many other women's advocates at the meeting, Bianco, an Argentinean feminist and member of Women ARISE, an international coalition of women's HIV networks, thinks women's problems negotiating safe sex and other HIV-AIDS preventions are intrinsically linked to the abrogation of their rights in other areas, such as land ownership, access to education and participation in politics.