At the crossroads: linking strategic frameworks to address gender-based violence and HIV/ AIDS in Southern Africa
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In recent years, southern African governments have made a number of important commitments on international and regional levels to combat HIV/ AIDS. The subregion has also seen a number of strategic developments such as the drafting and implementation of the SADC HIV/AIDS Policy Framework for 2003-2007 and the appointment by the UN Secretary-General of a Task Force on Women, Girls and HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa.It is now generally accepted that the intersections between gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS are among the most significant of the gendered dimensions of this pandemic. It is noteworthy that the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women devoted her 2005 thematic report to these intersections. She observed that while some progress is being made separately on ending violence against women and on stemming the spread of HIV/AIDS, national and international efforts would be vastly more effective if they addressed the interconnectness between the two pandemics.