The main drivers of the HIV epidemic are influenced by a wide range of gender inequalities. Early and forced marriage, gender-based violence, unequal access to information, including sexual health knowledge, and a lack of negotiating power and economic autonomy are among the factors that place women and adolescent girls at increased risk of HIV infection as well as circumscribe their responses to being infected. At the same time, masculine norms that stigmatise homosexuality and promote promiscuity and substance abuse increase the risk of infection among men and boys.


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