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Global Coalition on Women and AIDS Announces 2006 Empower Women: Fight AIDS

DETROIT, Michigan, USA, 8 June 2006– In an effort to inspire action, encourage meaningful dialogue, and increase public awareness about the unique challenges facing women and girls in a world with AIDS, the UNAIDS-led Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (GCWA) has announced the kickoff of its 2006 four-city Empower Women: Fight AIDS U.S. Tour.

From 8-15 June, the 2006 tour will visit Detroit, Minneapolis, Houston, and Washington, D.C. In each city, the tour will speak directly to the challenges faced by women worldwide and engage, educate, and enlist citizens, leaders and organizations and institutions who have the capacity to create change for women worldwide.

Today, more than 17 million women and girls are living with HIV, representing nearly 50% of those living with the disease worldwide -- and almost 60% of those with HIV in
sub-Saharan Africa. Women are uniquely vulnerable to contracting HIV due to a lack of power in preventing violence, accessing education, gaining economic self-sufficiency, and receiving information about HIV prevention and legal rights. Women and girls also face barriers to accessing treatment and bear a disproportionate burden of care for those living with and affected by HIV.

“Empowering women and girls is key to turning the tide of AIDS,” said Dr. Peter Piot, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “As we design and evaluate AIDS programs, we must always ask: does this work for women and girls? Unless the answer to that is yes, we cannot expect to succeed in the global response to AIDS.”

The 2006 Tour is co-sponsored by the UNAIDS, the United Nations Foundation, World Vision, and the World YWCA.

A full list of public activities featuring the women of the tour can be found at http://womenandaids.unaids.org/tour or by calling Phyllis Cuttino (202) 777-3516.


 

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