The United Nations agency tasked with advancing gender equality has teamed up with other partners in the Organization to ensure greater access to HIV services for women and girls as part of the wider response to the AIDS epidemic.
The UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) on Tuesday became the 11th member of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), a partnership that focuses on achieving universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
"UN Women is proud to join UNAIDS. We believe that the single most important strategy in dealing with HIV is empowering women and guaranteeing their rights - so that they can protect themselves from infection, overcome stigma, and gain greater access to treatment and care," said the Executive Director of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet.
In 2010, there were around 17 million women living with HIV, and HIV continues to be the leading cause of death in women of reproductive age, according to a joint news release issued by UN Women and UNAIDS.