People with disabilities often left behind by HIV responses

12 May 2020

Worldwide, there are 1 billion people living with a disability. The majority live in low- and middle-income countries and face multiple barriers, leading to inequalities. They are overrepresented among people living in poverty and among key populations affected by HIV and have lower participation in social, economic and public life and have lower economic, health and education outcomes. People living with a disability are also often left behind by HIV responses.

Between 2016 and 2018, biobehavioural surveys of people with disabilities were undertaken in Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau and Niger, while a broader biobehavioural survey was conducted in Senegal. They found that HIV prevalence is on average three times higher among people with disabilities than it is among the general population. In Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal, women with disabilities were considerably more likely to be living with HIV than men with disabilities.