Worldwide, among people living with HIV age 15 and older, coverage of antiretroviral therapy in 2018 was higher for women than for men. According to numerous studies, men are less likely than women to be tested for HIV to start and adhere to treatment. As a consequence, clinical outcomes in men are worse and they are more likely to die from AIDS-related causes.

The low use of HIV services by men reflects the male behavioral pattern of disease. This attitude is attributed to the masculinity norms that still prevail, the stigma, the opportunities, the costs of health care and the inappropriate design of services (among other factors).

The disparity is observed in a wide range of geographic and epidemiological settings. According to regional figures, with sex-disaggregated data, coverage of antiretroviral therapy was higher among women than men in all but one region. The greatest disparity is seen in West and Central Africa, where it is estimated that approximately 61% [32-67%] of women living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy in 2018, compared to 40% [ 18-41%] of men also in treatment on the same date. Treatment coverage for men and women differed by at least 10% in Asia and the Pacific, the Caribbean, Eastern and Central Africa, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. This trend would reflect the fact that prenatal care has been the key gateway for HIV testing and treatment services in many regions.



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