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CALL FOR ACTION! More Than Our Status! Our Bodies, Our Sexual & Reproductive Rights

Released date: 11-Aug-2015

Call for Action!

Join us this August 12, International Youth Day in speaking out against stigma faced by adolescent girls and young women living with HIV when accessing SRHR services!

More than Our Status, our Bodies, our Sexual & Reproductive Rights!

www.doyouseehiv.org

Here are four easy ways you can get involved:

  1. Like us on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/doyouseehiv
  2. Follow us on Twitter! @DoYouSeeHIV 
  3. Download our toolkit, Tweet about it and share! 
  4. Send us your picture to social@doyouseehiv.org with your name, city and a very short phrase expressing why HIV and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) of young people matters to you.

*We will be receiving pictures from August 6 to 10, and will share them on our Facebook page on August 12, International Youth Day.

ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN

United for a joint cause, 22 young HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights activists came together for the Young Women’s Strategy Meeting in Abuja, Nigeria on April 28 – 29, 2015. During this strategic session the women from Nigeria, India, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Russia, Jamaica, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Vietnam spent time strategizing how to strengthen a joint response to address the stigma experienced by young women living with HIV in accessing sexual and reproductive health services.

The meeting’s outcome was the birth of a global campaign under the slogan - More than Our Status! Our Bodies! Our Sexual & Reproductive Health and Rights! with the hashtag #DoYouSeeHIV.

The Young Women’s Strategy Meeting is part of a one year project by the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) and the Women’s Global Network on Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) funded by Oxfam Novib and Stop AIDS Now! Together we support the efforts of SHEWIH, a Nigerian coalition of activists coordinated by the regional ICW West Africa team, working together to build a strong, inclusive SRHR movement that fully addresses the needs of women living with HIV.

The project which will run until World AIDS Day, December 1, 2015, will support the amazing work that the networks of women activists are doing in Nigeria and around the world.

With the backdrop of International Youth Day, we are using #DoYouSeeHIV on August 12 2015 to raise awareness on how reducing HIV stigma can positively change the lives of adolescents and young women living with HIV and improve their access to quality sexual and reproductive health services.

OUR CALL FOR ACTION

This August 12, to reduce HIV stigma and improve access to SRHR services, we call on:

  • National governments to: 
    • Incorporate adolescent girls and young women living with HIV in decision-making platforms including policy development and programming to enable the development of responsive interventions that meet the needs of adolescents and young women.  
    • Support the visibility and voices of adolescents and young women in challenging social and structural power norms to reduce HIV stigma at community and institutional levels.
    • Guarantee full access to quality sexual and reproductive health services for adolescent girls and young women living with HIV.
    • Link SRHR and HIV program policies to avoid duplicating efforts 
    • Ensure that the sexual and reproductive health needs and rights of adolescent and young people living with HIV are addressed
    • Implement regional and global commitments towards ensuring Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) for all adolescents and young people.
  • Health care providers to: 
    • Commit to their responsibility of providing quality sexual and reproductive health services for all, especially adolescent girls and young women living with HIV. 
    • Tailor SRHR services to the specific needs and concerns of adolescents and young women living with HIV, including treatment for infertility, support for their sexual and reproductive choices with access to a full range of voluntary contraceptives, and protection from forced sterilization and forced abortion. 
  • Parents and guardians to: 
    • Commit to their responsibility of providing a safe environment at home free from stigma and violence to enable adolescents and young women living with HIV access to basic needs and rights including their SRHR. 
    • Adolescents and young women to: 
    • Commit to making healthy and informed choices in regards to their SRHR, and standing up for their right to make such choices free from coercion, misinformation and pressure.

Over the years, SRHR and HIV organizations and activists have called for an integrated approach to SRHR and HIV programs and services, in order to: reach a wider number of individuals and increase access to both HIV and SRH services; optimize existing healthcare infrastructures in resource-scarce settings; help reduce the stigma surrounding HIV; increase the availability and accessibility of SRH services for women living with HIV; and raise HIV awareness among women who may be unaware of their risk.

In 2014 UNAIDS reported that globally 15% of women living with HIV are aged 12-24 of whom 80% live in sub-Saharan Africa and 380,000 new infections occur yearly among them. Adolescent girls and young women, experience significant obstacles when exercising their SRHR, and frequently report worldwide abuses and violations of their sexual and reproductive rights, within their families, healthcare settings and communities. Reported violations include physical violence against pregnant women, refusal to provide proper information on the sexual and reproductive health services available, denial of access to services, stigma, discrimination and detrimental and judgmental treatment, lack of confidentiality and lack of informed consent based on their HIV status, and forced or coerced sterilization and forced or coerced abortion. As a result of these violations, women living with HIV receive substandard or harmful sexual and reproductive healthcare or feel forced to shy away from using HIV, SRHR and maternal and child health services altogether.

If we are to meaningfully realize the SRHR of all adolescent girls and young women, including women living with HIV, as well as effectively address HIV and AIDS, we must ensure the bi-directional coordination and integration of all aspects of HIV and SRHR services, and address the stigma experienced by women living with HIV when exercising their SRHR.

Join us this August 12 in our mission and speak out against stigma faced by adolescent girls and young women living with HIV when accessing SRHR services!

More than our status, our bodies, our Sexual and Reproductive Rights!

DoYouSeeHIV?

For more information please visit doyouseehiv.org

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