HER: HIV Epidemic Response

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The Global Fund / Karin Schermbrucker

HIV is preventable, and yet nearly 1,000 young women and girls are infected with HIV every day. Despite great progress made against HIV globally, adolescent girls and young women continue to be disproportionately affected by the epidemic, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The HER campaign aims to inspire advocates, engage supporters and invest resources to empower women and girls to end AIDS.

In the hardest-hit countries, girls account for more than 80 percent of all new infections among adolescents – and are up to eight times more likely to be living with HIV than their male peers.

Harmful gender norms, discrimination, violence, limited access to education and a lack of tailored services inhibit women’s and girls’ access to health care and fuel new infections.

The 15-24-year-old population is expected to double in the next decade in sub-Saharan Africa, so addressing the staggering HIV incidence among adolescent girls and young women is critical to preventing a catastrophic epidemic.

Together with partners, the Global Fund has set a bold target to reduce the number of new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women by 58 percent in 13 African countries over the next five years.

A collective, global effort

HER builds upon the ground-breaking leadership of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the DREAMS Partnership, which has led to greater global recognition of the scope of the challenge of reaching adolescent girls and young women to reduce their risk for HIV.

With support from private sector partners and influential champions, the Global Fund aims to raise additional resources over the next five years to expand HIV prevention programs for adolescent girls and young women.

A collective global effort is needed to reach this goal. With more awareness, more funding and more energy driving new approaches, we can change the course of the epidemic. This means urgently expanding prevention programs that put the voices and needs of adolescent girls and young women first, and incubating new and innovative approaches.

Programs like those described below can help create lasting change for adolescent girls and young women.

The Global Fund / John Rae
The Global Fund / Karin Schermbrucker
The Global Fund / Alexia Webster
The Global Fund / John Rae

A girl-centered approach

A girl-centered, rights-based approach to programs, with services that reflect the differing risks and opportunities for women and girls by their age group, country and community context, is key to fighting the epidemic.

HER Voice is a fund that addresses the logistical barriers faced by groups and networks of adolescent girls and young women, to better enable them to participate in Global Fund country processes. It provides practical support, such as small grants to cover expenses, to ensure women and girls have a place at the table during key decision-making forums related to country policy reform, funding applications and the design and implementation of programs that meet their needs.

“Young people know their own issues. The people sent to represent them do not walk in their shoes. Young people are the best placed to explain their experiences and needs. Having them at the table is crucial.”
Nadege Uwase, Volunteer Advocate, Kigali Hope Association

The HER campaign is a collaborative platform for diverse partners to support adolescent girls and young women in countries with a high risk of HIV.

We will win or lose the global fight against AIDS based on whether we win or lose the battle to protect adolescent girls and young women from HIV over the next few years.

Investing in girls means investing in the future. Together, we can empower the next generation to stay free from HIV.

Page through our brochure for more information.

HER: HIV Epidemic Response Brochure
download in English

Investing in HER to end HIV

Sheryl Sandberg, Christine Lagarde, Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Her Excellency Monica Geingos and many others are speaking out in support of HER.

Published 11 February 2019