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In the June 2007 issue of Sexually Transmitted Infections, Dunkle and Jewkes make a much needed case for increased attention to the role of gender-based violence (GBV) in fuelling the HIV pandemic. Referring to an article published in the same issue regarding GBV and STI risk in Bangladesh,1 they find mounting evidence for national generalizability across a range of cultural settings “supporting the link between perpetration of GBV and STI/HIV risk”. While agreeing with the spirit of their editorial, I question the logic they use to derive their recommendations and propose an alternative method for analysing the relationship among social ideals of masculinity, GBV and HIV/STI transmission using an ecological and comparative framework to explain population-level variations in GBV and HIV prevalence.
Dunkle and Jewkes accurately …