MARK YOUR CALENDARS Toronto will be the site of the XVI International AIDS Conference, August 13-19, 2006.

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AIDS2006 Toronto will bring together over 15,000 participants from around the world to address the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. Conference participants will include researchers, clinicians, community organizations, government representatives and people living with HIV/AIDS.

For more information on how to take part, visit:

Make sure the needs of women and girls are included and addressed at this important international forum

The Barcelona Bill of Rights states that because gender inequality fuels the HIV/AIDS pandemic, it is imperative that priorities for action and the global response to the crisis includes the specific needs of girls and women, as well as those of men and boys.

As you attend sessions at the XVI International AIDS Conference consider whether the speakers address gender in presentations, research questions, data collection and methods of analysis, or in findings, decisions and recommendations for action. Have speakers considered who has power in the household, in the community, in society at all levels? How do inequities in opportunities, rights, resources and authority affect women and girls, men and boys?

It is not enough to think about women and girls after policies are in place or programmes are up and running. It’s not enough to think about males and females infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. We need to dig deeper. We need to understand how socially determined roles and responsibilities—gender—shape risk and vulnerability to HIV and its consequences.

Gender and HIV/AIDS Checklist

From the Centres of Excellence for Women’s Health

  • Has the speaker considered women, girls, men and boys separately in the policy, service or research described?
  • Do the data collected distinguish between girls and boys, men and women?
  • Were local women as well as men involved in developing the policy, service or research described?
  • Have local equality-seeking organizations been consulted?
  • Have issues of inequality—particularly the differences in social and economic power between women and men—been considered?
  • Was the policy, service or research described developed with an awareness of and sensitivity to what is already known about gender differences in this area? For example, what are the effects of different patterns of work, family life and social expectations on womens and mens vulnerabilities to HIV/AIDS, and on their ability to get treatment?

Gender has been considered if:

  • Research design, methods, and interpretation incorporate roles and responsibilities for females and males.
  • Policy, planning and programming involve local men and women who will use the services or program and, women and men have had an opportunity to speak freely in its development.
  • The similar and different needs of girls and women, boys and men are taken into account.

For more information on gender and HIV/AIDS, visit:

Adapted in part from L. Donner, Gender in Health Planning: A Guide for Regional Health Authorities

Adapted from the AIDS2004 Satellite Session, Acting on Rights: Women and HIV/AIDS in collaboration with the Government of Canada; Centres of Excellence for Womens Health; Canadian Institutes of Health Research; International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS; Human Rights Watch; International Partnership for Microbicides; and the University of Ottawa.