After years of paying lip service to fighting HIV among women—who account for 50% of world infections—AIDS powers are paying actual attention too. In July, Stephen Lewis, the UN special envoy for HIV in Africa, announced a plan for an independent UN agency, which the General Assembly will consider in a vote this fall, to fight the global gender inequalities that help fuel female infection. “We are never going to break the backbone of the HIV epidemic until we have removed the most repugnant aspects of gender inequality, which cause women’s lack of sexual power and HIV,” says Lewis. The office would be the first new UN agency of the millennium. Teaming with nongovernmental orgs, it would urge governments to improve everything from women’s health care to their economic welfare. Little for women no more?
The United Nations looks to the ladies