Gender has become a major conceptual tool for understanding the evolving HIV pandemic globally. As such, it has provided a powerful way to see the structure of relations between men and women as central to various epidemics, and added weight to our understanding of HIV infection as not simply an individual experience of disease. Yet, as a concept, gender has its blind spots. This paper argues that there are four issues central to our understanding of how the HIV pandemic moves and develops that are not necessarily best understood through an analysis that uses gender alone, namely: women's vulnerability, men's culpability, young people's sexual interests and marginalized sexual cultures. The paper proposes using sexuality as a framework for analysing these issues and seeks to utilise developments in critical sexuality research to add to gender as a way to increase the capacity to respond to the HIV/AIDS crisis.