Gender inequality contributes to the spread of HIV. It can increase infection rates, and reduce the ability of women and girls to cope with the epidemic. Often, they have less information about HIV and fewer resources to take preventive measures. They face barriers to the negotiation of safer sex, because of unequal power dynamics with men. Sexual violence, a widespread violation of women’s rights, exacerbates the risk of HIV transmission.   hiv-and-aids-1UN Women brings gender equality and human rights perspectives to its work on women and HIV and AIDS. They spearhead strategies that make clear links to factors propelling the epidemic, such as violence against women, denial of legal rights and women’s limited participation in decision-making. Their single most important strategy is empowering women and guaranteeing their rights so that they can protect themselves from infection, overcome stigma, and gain greater access to treatment, care and support. UN Women’s programmes help to amplify the voices of women living with HIV, using strategies that promote their leadership and meaningful participation in all decisions and actions to respond to the epidemic.