Social and Behavioral Change

Structural barriers such as stigma and gender inequity exacerbate HIV risk in the world’s most marginalized, vulnerable communities. Stigmatized populations—such as people living with HIV, female sex workers, or men who have sex with men—often avoid health care services, fearing discrimination by providers. These same people also may be shunned by their peers, family, and communities, which further limits them from accessing important HIV-related information and services. Gender inequity poses another major challenge, as harmful gender norms inhibit women’s ability to learn about, access, and adhere to critical HIV services. Programs that aim to overcome these social and behavioral barriers are needed to ensure that the most vulnerable are not left behind in the global push to achieve the 90-90-90 goals.