Angola’s HIV prevalence is 2.3%, and nearly 60% of those living with HIV are women. The link between HIV and gender is now widely acknowledged within the development community. In many countries, including Angola, women are at higher risk of HIV infection due to gender inequality, violence against women and girls, limited awareness of and access to sexual and reproductive health services and rights, and social practices such as polygamy.
Women often have less power to negotiate for HIV prevention methods, especially in situations involving gender based violence. In Angola, nearly one in four women have experienced physical or sexual violence. Only 20% of Angolan women report using condoms during their last sexual encounter, compared to 43% of men.
Partnerships between governmental bodies and civil society organizations (CSOs) are key to successful policy development and implementation. The Angolan Government relies on the efforts of several highly competent CSOs in the fields of gender and HIV, including Acção Angolana para a Mulher (AAM), to reach women and girls with services and support.
Formed in Luanda in 1997, AAM promotes gender equality, women’s rights, and HIV prevention. The organization focuses on women, especially young women and youth.