Men, HIV/AIDS, and Human Rights

Peacock, D; Stemple, L; Sawires, S; Coates, TJ; (2009) Men, HIV/AIDS, and Human Rights. Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999), 51. S119-S125. ISSN 1525-4135 DOI:

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Though still limited in scale, work with men to achieve gender equality is occurring on every continent and in many countries. A rapidly expanding evidence base demonstrates that rigorously implemented initiatives targeting men can change social practices that affect the health of both sexes, particularly in the context of HIV and AIDS. Too often however, messages only address the harm that regressive masculinity norms cause women, while neglecting the damage done to men by these norms. This article calls for a more inclusive approach which recognizes that men, far from being a monolithic group, have unequal access to health and rights depending on other intersecting forms of discrimination based on race, class, sexuality, disability, nationality, and the like. Messages that target men only as holders of privilege miss men who are disempowered or who themselves challenge rigid gender roles. The article makes recommendations which move beyond treating men simply as "the problem", and instead lays a foundation for engaging men both as agents of change and holders of rights to the ultimate benefit of women and men. Human rights and other policy interventions must avoid regressive stereotyping, and successful local initiatives should be taken to scale nationally and internationally.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
PubMed ID: 19553779
Web of Science ID: 267383100007


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