The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) is the eleventh U.N. body to join the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) as a cosponsoring partner, according to an UNAIDS statement. The cosponsorship, which was recently approved at an UNAIDS board meeting, will further strengthen the UNAIDS work on gender equality and HIV and enhance collaboration with governments, international partners, women’s organizations and the women’s rights movement. Gender equality and respect for women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights, especially for women living with HIV, are essential to successfully combat HIV/AIDS. The virus continues to be the leading cause of death in women of reproductive age.

To read UNAIDS statement, click here.