U.N. Agencies' Efforts to Combat HIV/AIDS Among Disabled People Examined

IRIN PlusNews reports on different efforts aimed at addressing HIV/AIDS among people living with disabilities. "More than 600 million people -- 10 percent of the global population -- live with disabilities, and 80 percent of them live in developing countries. This population often struggles to gain access to sex education and health services, including HIV prevention and education materials. ... Yet people with disabilities engage in the same sexual behaviours that the general population does, according to a landmark 2004 Yale University/World Bank report entitled HIV/AIDS and Individuals with Disability. Additionally, women with disabilities are more vulnerable to sexual exploitation and rape than non-disabled women," the news service writes. UNAIDS "is planning to investigate ongoing initiatives that link AIDS and disability, and what kind of engagement there has been with persons living with disabilities," according to IRIN PlusNews. UNICEF and other U.N. agencies have also started further investigating the connections between HIV/AIDS and the disabled at the country level, said Ken Legins, UNICEF's HIV/AIDS chief (12/21).

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