Support for The IMAGE study.

"More adult women than ever before are living with HIV, 15 million in sub-Saharan Africa alone. Violence against women and extreme poverty only makes those at risk even more vulnerable. Changing cultural behavior, especially attitudes towards sex and relationships, and tackling the stigma that underlies AIDS is one of the greatest challenges we face in our response to the disease. That is why the innovation of the IMAGE programme is an excellent example of a really practical way of dealing with a complex issue. The study helps give women more choices and power, and it is that which is helping change the lives of those most at risk." Hilary Benn, UK Secretary of State for International Development.

‘Empowerment approaches, those strategies which aim to address the broader risk environment that constrains women’s behaviours and choices, are critical to reinforcing women’s ability to protect themselves against HIV and to take charge of their own destinies.  The IMAGE project perfectly exemplifies this type of approach. Through a process that engages women as active agents in the use of a range of resources, economic and social, the IMAGE project has demonstrated the positive changes that can be brought about  in women’s environment, from one that undermines women’s well-being to one that promotes it.   The findings published in the Lancet this week show that such an approach works. It is exciting that we finally have concrete evidence of an intervention that works to empower women and reduce their vulnerability to domestic violence and HIV.’ Geeta Rao Gupta, President of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)