Programmes to address gender-based violence are critical to reducing the risk of HIV amongst AGYW. HIV programmes should be integrated within existing gender-based violence programmes to:
Support economic empowerment and gender training of AGYW
Working with men and boys to transform harmful gender and social norms
Integrating strategies to address violence in HIV services such as HIV testing and counselling and mental health care
Providing emergency contraception and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for HIV within a comprehensive package of services for sexual assault
CASE STUDY: Training health workers to respond to gender-based violence in South Sudan
In South Sudan, in its role as Global Fund Principal Recipient, UNDP supports a program to train health care workers to respond to gender-based violence, and refer survivors to a range of appropriate services. In light of the clear links between GBV and HIV vulnerability, the provision of co-located psycho-social and legal referral services for women are a great example of the integrated service provision necessary to address critical enablers that drive the spread of HIV.
In addition, the program supports a number of behavioural change communication initiatives aimed at preventing GBV and supporting the use of GBV services, using the popular medium of radio. These messages are translated into multiple languages, including those spoken by internally displaced populations, and are aimed at removing the stigma and gender inequality that drives the HIV epidemic and often prevents survivors of GBV victims from accessing key HIV-related prevention services.