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AIDS Conference reviews evidence linking girls’ education and HIV prevention

NEW YORK, NY, 10 August 2006 - Members of the Inter-Agency Task Team (IATT) on Education are organising a session on "Leadership in Girls' Education: An Essential Component in HIV Prevention" at the International AIDS Conference to be held 13-18 August 2006 in Toronto, Canada. The session will take place on Monday August 14 from 16:15 to 17:45 in Session Room 11.

The abstract of the session is: If getting more girls into school is one of the best ways we can protect children from HIV/AIDS and care for children whose lives have been affected by the epidemic, why are 60 million girls out of school? Why are millions more dropping out? Education not only can prevent HIV/AIDS, it can empower girls, boys, young women and men to fight against the root cause of the growing feminization of the disease - gender inequality.

By missing the 2005 MDG target of eliminating gender inequality in education, we are missing an unequivocal opportunity to protect a new generation from HIV/AIDS. A renewed effort is needed to support the most promising examples of how prevention education anchored in gender equality can save lives.

This provocative session will present compelling new evidence aimed at mobilizing leadership on girls' education and bridging the efforts of leaders in the education, gender and HIV/AIDS communities.

Presentations in this session include:

  • The Evidence: Status of girls' education and impact on HIV/AIDS, by Geeta Rao Gupta, ICRW, United States
  • Leadership: Needed action at the international level, by Charles Abani, Global Campaign for Education, Nigeria  Leadership: Needed action at the regional and country level from a multilateral perspective, by Rima Salah, UNICEF, United States
  • Leadership: Needed action at the community level, by Clara Liyati, Malawi Network People Living with HIV/AIDS (MANET)

Co-Chairs: Jeanette Kagame, Rwanda and Josée Verner, Canada


A CD-ROM titled "Review of the Evidence: Girls' Education and HIV Prevention", produced by the UNAIDS Inter-Agency Task Team (IATT) on Education, will also be launched at the AIDS Conference event.  It aims to expand the evidence base on the link between girls’ education and HIV prevention. It contains more than 100 recent resources produced by members of the UNAIDS IATT on Education and other leaders in the education, gender and HIV&AIDS communities. Included on the CD-ROM are policy documents, case studies, reports, tools, curricula and other materials from a range of settings and in several languages. For free copies, please contact the UNAIDS IATT on Education at

ActionAid is publishing a paper to be launched at the Toronto AIDS Conference entitled "Girl power. The impact of girls' education on HIV and sexual behaviour." The paper includes a systematic review of the evidence on the impact of girls' education on sexual behaviour and HIV rates. More information can be found at


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