Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



In the past decade, there have been expanding resources to address the underlying gender dimensions of HIV. This has been particularly urgent in sub-Saharan Africa as the female-to-male infection ratios in young populations has reached 3 to 1 and sometimes above. The phrase “gender and HIV” has become commonplace yet does not provide any specific guidance as to target audiences, content, or measurable results. It can include everything from microcredit programs for HIV-positive women, to workplace programs seeking to change negative male norms, to efforts to increase respect for diverse sexual and gender identities. This review, conducted by the Population Council, mines the first generation of programs to provide an empirical foundation to inform a next generation and provide several recommendations: (1) redirecting HIV programs to primary prevention; (2) locating populations of males for intervention guided by the needs of the most at-risk females; and (3) defining gender-specific goals for females and males as separate but linked “social accounts.”