Event date: 18-May-2015
The International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) today joins global partners and stakeholders working to end HIV in commemorating the annual International AIDS Vaccines Day.
Despite great progress in HIV/AIDS in many countries and indeed globally, global epidemic reports indicate the disease is still the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. ICW reiterates the commitment to collaboratively work with scientists and partners to make vaccine research work for women and girls.
The world has embarked on a visionary goal to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. To reach this goal, countries will need to turn off the tap of new infections by using the powerful biomedical tools available for immediate impact such as treatment, condoms, voluntary medical male circumcision and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PreP). In addition, investing in tools that offer long-term solutions to end HIV such as vaccines and a cure is important for a sustainable impact.
A vaccine to protect against HIV could be transformative in preventing new infection among women and girls and ultimately their children. This could help women who are not currently accessing current prevention options or have challenges in negotiating for safer sex due to social, structural and geopolitical reasons.
ICW appreciates that women and girls need an HIV vaccine. However, we also believe that women living with HIV need to be directly involved in the process of developing one. ICW, the first and only global network by and for women and girls living with HIV, has worked for over 20 years to address and support the challenges of, as well as collectively celebrate, all self-identifying women living with HIV throughout the world. We call upon governments, partners and researchers to accelerate development of vaccines that are safe, accessible and work for women and girls.
Download the flyers here: HIV Vaccine Awareness Day 2015 Statement A4 Size Flyer (87 KB) HIV Vaccine Awareness Day 2015 Statement US Letter Size Flyer (87 KB)
Event date: 17-May-2015
ICW Calls on Leaders and Partners to ‘Support the Future’ of Women and Girls Living with HIV
The International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) joins people living with HIV and their communities from all the world over in commemorating the International Candlelight Memorial.
The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, coordinated by the Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+) is one of the world’s oldest and largest grassroots mobilization campaigns for HIV awareness in the world. Started in 1983, the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial takes place every third Sunday in May and is led by a coalition of some 1,200 community organizations in 115 countries.
In keeping with the Candlelight Memorial 2015 theme of ‘Supporting the future’, ICW is calling on all policy makers, partners, stakeholders and communities to support the future of women and girls living with HIV by ensuring that policy and programming responds to th
Event date: 11-Apr-2015
Women living with HIV have the right to respectful, dignified maternal care!
This International Maternal Health and Rights Day ICW is joining the global call to action to ensure respectful and dignified maternal care and human rights for all women and particularly women living with HIV around the world.
While interventions to prevent vertical (mother-to-child) transmission of HIV have resulted in lower rates of transmission of HIV to infants, expectant mothers with HIV often face intense stigma, discrimination and abuse from health care providers. Women living with HIV around the world report human rights violations in maternal health care settings, including violations of confidentiality and the right to informed consent; refusal to provide conditional access to services, including coerced and forced sterilization, forced and coerced abortion; and stigma and discrimination including physical and emotional abuse. This mistreatment deters women from seeking and receiving the care they need. In the context of maternal health care stigma and discrimination can be a matter of life or death for women living with HIV.
ICW demands that the new global agenda secures respectful and dignified maternal care for women living with HIV:
- Maternal health priorities must not only focus on the elimination of new HIV infections in children, but on keeping mothers alive.
- Improving maternal health and reducing maternal mortality for women living with HIV must use a rights-based approach and employ strong stigma reduction efforts along the continuum of reproductive and maternal health care.
- Increased research on the relationship between HIV infection and causes of maternal morbidity and mortality is essential.
- Women living with HIV must receive increased access to treatment, care, and support including antenatal and prevention of vertical transmission services and be able to make voluntary, fully informed, autonomous decisions about their bodies and health.
- Accountability mechanisms by and for women living with HIV must be developed to monitor maternal care programmes for rights violations, discrimination, and barriers to care.
- Women living with HIV must be meaningfully involved in the design, implementation, and evaluation of programmes and services.
Women living with HIV join the call to action by CHANGE and other maternal health advocates on this International Day of Maternal Health and Rights to demand a rights based approach to respectful and dignified maternal health care and to ensure that women, and particularly women living with HIV, are at the center of efforts to improve maternal health outcomes.
Join the conversation on Twitter #IntlMHDay.
Download our flyers here and spread the news: International Maternal Health and Rights Day 2015 A4 Poster (52 KB) , International Maternal Health and Rights Day 2015 US Letter Poster (52 KB) .
NOTHING FOR US WITHOUT US!
Event date: 08-Apr-2015
Know Your Rights
featuring a presentation by Jessica Handibode from AVAC on What is “CURE” Research?
When: Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Time: 6am Nicaragua – 8am NYC – 7am Jamaica – 12pm UK – 2pm Nigeria/Ukraine/Zimbabwe – 3pm Nairobi – 5:30pm Delhi – 7pm Thailand – 12am Fiji
When sending your RSVP please indicate your Skype address and if you will require translation.
Note: translation must be requested at least 48 hours in advance.
Know Your Rights is a series of members advocacy workshops that occur the second Wednesday of each month. ICW invites speakers to lead interactive and dynamic workshops on the issues that impact women living with HIV in all of our diversity. It is part of the I AM ICW project! This month we encourage ICW members from all regions and all knowledge backgrounds to join us on Skype for one hour to hear about advocacy issues related to 'CURE' research and participate in an interactive question and answer period with the AVAC team. The purpose is to share knowledge and highlight different advocacy initiatives that are happening cross regionally.
Download the flyer Know Your Rights Flyer - March 2015 (109 KB)
Event date: 24-Mar-2015
Reach the 3 Million: Reach, Treat, Cure Everyone
On this World TB Day – The International Community of Women Living with HIV is issuing a call to action to increase awareness and take steps to address the disproportionate impact that tuberculosis has on people living with HIV, and women and girls living with HIV in particular.
Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death among people living with HIV, accounting for one in four HIV-related deaths. For people living with HIV, tuberculosis is harder to diagnose, progresses faster, and is more likely to be fatal if left untreated than for those without HIV. At least one-third of people living with HIV worldwide are infected with latent tuberculosis. and are almost 30 times more likely to develop active TB than persons without HIV.
Around half of the HIV-related tuberculosis deaths globally have been among women but in Africa more women die than men. For pregnant women living with HIV, TB infection increases the risk of maternal and infant mortality by almost 300 percent, and in certain settings, TB rates are up to 10 times higher among pregnant women living with HIV than pregnant women without HIV. Further, studies have shown that tuberculosis among women living with HIV can double the risk of vertical transmission of HIV.
Fortunately, Tuberculosis is both preventable and curable. But there is more work to do- barriers that limit access for TB and HIV care, treatment, and support often have gender-related differences, sometimes with women experiencing more barriers and longer delays than men.
What can we do?
Take steps to protect yourself from TB!
Here are a few tips to help protect your self and here are some links for more detailed advice:
- Avoid spending long periods of time in spaces that are not well ventilated with anyone who has active TB;
- If you live with someone who has active TB, encourage the person to cover their mouth when coughing and to adhere to their treatment regime;
- If you are living with HIV you should discuss with your health worker whether you are eligible for TB preventive therapy, such as isoniazid;
- Open windows and curtains at home and in public places such as health care clinics, and encourage others to do the same.
Seek early diagnosis!
Early diagnosis means early treatment and better outcomes. It also means that you should take ART as soon as possible if you are living with HIV. Common symptoms of TB are a cough for more than two weeks (sometimes with blood), weight loss, night sweats and fever. If you have signs and symptoms of TB or have been exposed to someone who is sick with TB, seek information and support from health care workers about treatment and prevention.
Talk to your sisters living with HIV about TB.
As women living with HIV, we can make a point today to talk to our sisters and family members about TB and teach our family members about the signs and symptoms of TB.
Reach out to your local leadership and ministries of health and advocate! Ask them to:
- Promote gender-equitable access to TB prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care, and support.
- Ensure women living with HIV have a voice in interventions to integrate TB screening and treatment within a variety of care settings including mother and child health care services.
- Ensure that Women living with HIV are able to make informed decisions about their own treatment and care.
- Eliminate stigma, discrimination, and other barriers to ensure that women living with HIV & other marginalized populations can receive the care they need and are entitled to.
WHO, HIV-Associated TB: Facts 2013, available at: http://www.who.int/tb/challenges/hiv/tbhiv_factsheet_2013_web.pdf
WHO, Tuberculosis in Women Fact Sheet, available at: http://www.who.int/tb/challenges/hiv/tb_women_factsheet.pdf
WHO, Gear up to End TB brochure
A quick glance of WHO targets and actions to gear up to end TB infographic
For more information on World TB Day, you can visit the WHO website on http://www.who.int/campaigns/tb-day/2015/event/en/
Stop TB Partnership: http://www.stoptb.org