In 2017, 630.000 of the 1.1million adults (aged 15 and over) living with HIV in Zambia were women (file:///C:/NODE/387). 11 HIV prevalence among young women was more than double that of young men (5.7% of young women were living with HIV in 2017, compared to 2.5% of young men).
The discrepancy exists due to a variety of complex and overlapping factors. Zambian society and culture is extremely patriarchal. Limiting the power of women in relationships. Women experience gender-based violence (GBV) and are often not in control of their sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Young women are significantly more likely to have an older partner who may be living with HIV already; they are also likely to experience their first sexual intercourse at a young age. Education attainment is also higher among young men than young women, which means men are more likely to be exposed to HIV education.
The enactment of the Anti-Gender Based Violence Act took place in 2011, with a view to changing the unequal structure of society. In the coming years it is hoped that this change in law will help to stop women being so disproportionately affected by HIV.
However, there is still much to be done as more than 30% of ever married or partnered. Women aged 15-24 years in Zambia experienced physical or sexual violence from a male intimate partner in the previous 12 months, according to 2015 UNAIDS data.
To further address gender inequality in 2016, Zambia developed a national strategy to and child marriage, and national guidelines for the provision of integrated SRH/HIV/GBV services.