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ICW Global In Action

May 4 2018

ICW Global Updates



Women Living with HIV leadership critical to ending AIDS by 2030

Although the world has experienced significant advances in the HIV response including in reducing the number of new HIV infections, increasing the numbers of people who know their HIV status, increasing access to treatment and care thereby reducing the number of AIDS related deaths and people living with HIV are now assured of living long and productive lives;[1]

This reality still remains different for women living with HIV around the world in all our diversity as we still continue to face a daunting set of barriers to accessing the treatment, care and support we need to live healthy and productive lives.

We also face significant barriers to realizing our human rights including achieving our highest standard of health and respect for our sexual and reproductive health and rights. These barriers range from fear, stigma and violence[2]at the social and community level; lack of access to adequate, acceptable treatment, care and support; to discrimination and other violations of our human rights that women living with HIV often experience because of their HIV status.

There is the general consensus that to achieve the targets set out at global and country level and contribute to the Global health and social development goals (SDG’s) women and girls living with HIV need to be at the centre of all decision making processes within the HIV response.

Being at the centre needs to mean more than giving women and girls living with HIV space to sit in the room; it is the deliberate effort that all players and stakeholders including policy makers, funders, strategists, governments and implementers MUST make to meaningfully include women in decisions and actions that affect our lives and those of our communities.

Over 25 years ago, ICW was formed to bring to make visible the issues of women living with HIV in the Global HIV response. We have remained steadfast amidst various challenges in building women leadership to ensure consistent representation and participation within the HIV and health response. Currently, ICW has been able to establish itself as a global network, at the same time a household name when it comes to women’s advocacy focusing our attention to building women’s leadership across our network and impacting women and girls from grassroots to global levels.

We commend all our members, fierce women in leadership, doing their part every day to keep us on our path to our vision of a world where all women living with HIV live free of gender oppression, realizing ad claiming our sexual, reproductive, legal, social, economic and health rights.

In this edition of the ICW newsletter, ICW extends a special appreciation and our congratulations to Maurine Murenga (who served ICW as our Advocacy Manager – Global Fund) on her appointment to the Global Fund Board representing The Communities Delegation Living with HIV and affected by Tuberculosis and Malaria Delegation (Communities Delegation). We extend our congratulations to and alternate board member - Ms. Erika Castellanos from GATES and also board member at GNP+

These appointments bring hope to the many young women leaders that continue to serve our community and a chance to celebrate a step forward towards women’s leadership, empowerment and strengthening of voices and symbolises the growth that the women’s movement has had over the years.

You can read more of Maurine’s and Erika’s appointment to The Communities Delegation Living with HIV and affected by Tuberculosis and Malaria Delegation (Communities Delegation) to the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) here


[1]UNAIDS 2017, AIDS Progress Report


Call for submissions- Global Dialogue; HIV, Rights and Law in the era of 2030 agenda


UNDP will be organising a pre-conference on Sunday 22 July 2018 at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam.

The pre-conference titled Global Dialogue: HIV, Rights and Law in the Era of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, will provide an opportunity for participants including government, civil society, people living with HIV, key populations, UN Member States, development agencies, donors and international organisations to discuss progress in implementing the recommendations of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, share good practices of removing punitive laws, policies and practices that are barriers for effective HIV responses and enforcing protective laws; discuss the role of political leadership in the removal of punitive laws and the enforcement of protective laws, policies and practices required to address persistent legal and human rights issues on HIV and related co-infections; explore the changing financing environment for HIV, human rights and the law; and discuss new and emerging issues in HIV-related science; and lessons from HIV and the law for advancing rights-based health responses in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

A Call for Submissions has been published in English, French, Spanish and Russian and the deadline for submissions is May 15th2018. We urge ICW members to share this information across your networks and strongly encourage partners from your regions, especially those who can share interesting perspectives on advancing the work on HIV, rights and the law, to make submissions, and to also register for the pre-conference. The submissions will also inform the Supplement to the 2012 Report which will be launched at the International AIDS Conference 2018.


IAS announces the Prudence Mabele Price

Image courtesy of IAS

The International AIDS Society (IAS) is proud to announce the creation of the Prudence Mabele Prize, a new endowment named in honour of the first black woman to publicly reveal her HIV-positive status in South Africa. The prize will be awarded to a female-identified advocate of HIV and gender justice.

This is the largest prize ever awarded at an International AIDS Conference. It is endowed by the Ford Foundation and the Open Society Foundations (OSF), in partnership with the Positive Women’s Network of South Africa.

Nominations are now being accepted.Nominations are acceptedvia the online form or by postal mail in French, Spanish and English.

More information on nomination guidelines can be found here. The selection committee looks forward to receiving nominations for women and those who identify as female, doing innovative work in HIV and gender justice that exemplifies the prestige of the award and honours Prudence Mabele’s memory.

The deadline to submit is 14 May.


Activity to Impact

Partnership with W4GF

ICW is happy to announce a new partnership between Women4GF and ICW Global, as it takes on administrative tasks to assist in the implementation of a new grant provided by Viiv Healthcare. 

ICW is excited of this new opportunity and is always open to collaborative efforts and initiatives to serve communities and networks of women living with HIV.

Women4GlobalFund (W4GF)brings together women’s rights advocates, especially women living with HIV, and directly affected by TB and Malaria to advance gender equality through the global fund. W4gf mobilizes women in all their diversity to ensure that the world’s most important finance mechanism for the HIV, TB and Malaria supports programmes that meet the rights and needs of women and girls.


ICW represented in the IAWG on SRHR and HIV Linkages

The International Community of Women Living with HIV joined partners and stakeholders for the Interagency Working Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and HIV Linkages meeting in Geveva  18 to 20 April2018.

The meeting  provided an opportunity for the working group to agree on the scope and focus of within the context of SDG’s and UHC framework. In this meeting ICW gave a presentation of the need to strengthen community engagement while sharing the experience from the meaningful involvement of women living with HIV in the development of the WHO Consolidated guidelines on SRHR for Women living with HIV and the progress towards women led implementation processes.


ICW attends the MIPA Working Group Meeting in Kenya

The International Community of Women living with HIV was represented at the Kenya AIDS Strategic Framework Midterm Review forum whereby the Civil Society in Kenya, through a MIPA working group convened to have a thorough review and honest feedback to the implementation of the National framework.

The meeting, organized by the National AIDS Control Council in Kenya, was an important step towards the country processes to formalise the greater involvement of People living with HIV at all levels of decision making and action that affects our lives.

 As the Country moves towards the review and updating of GIPA guidelines, ICW remains committed to supporting our country partners towards development of a document that is responsive to the needs of women and girls living with HIV.


WOFAK in Kenya pilot workshop on WHO Consolidated SRHR guidelines for Women living with HIV

Participants during the workshop in Nairobi, Kenya

ICW was excited to join a team of women advocates led by Women Fighting AIDS in Kenya (WOFAK) for a workshop on the WHO consolidated guidelines on sexual and reproductive health for women living with HIV.

The workshop “Translating community research into Global Policy reform for national action: community engagement to implement the WHO consolidated guidelines on SRHR for Women living with HIV” is a the first of its kind in which a checklist designed to support women’s engagement and participation in advocacy and accountability for the implementation for the guidelines was piloted. The meeting was supported by UNAIDS and facilitated by Alice Welbourn of Salamander trust and Sophie Dilmitis of Women 4 Global Fund.

In 2017 WHO published a consolidated guideline on sexual and reproductive health and rights for women living with HIV to support frontline health care providers, programme managers, public health, policy makers to better address the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Right for Women Living with HIV in all our diversity. One of the expected outputs from the workshop is a statement from women living with HIV with key asks and recommendations to support rights-based SRHR services and programming in Kenya.

More information and the final report will be shared in the subsequent newsletters.


ICW Latina conducts Political Impact workshop

ICW Latina members during the meeting

ICW Latina held the regional Political impact workshop in Buenos Aires bringing 40 members  from 15 provinces throughout the country participating.



Observance day

20 May

Sunday May 20th 2018 is the 35th annual International AIDS Candlelight Memorial. Organisations around the world mark this in remembrance of the friends and family we lost and raise awareness about HIV. The theme for 2018 candle light memorial “Reflecting on our Past, Preparing for our Future!” For more information click here.

Upcoming Events and Times for Global Action

Upcoming events and conferences

1.WHO technical consultation on HIV testing, prophylaxis and treatment in infants, April 30th –May 1st, 2018

2.WHO IAWG SRHR and HIV linkages meeting, 18-20 May 2018, Montreaux Switzerland

3.RCNF Collective Impact Meeting 11th– 15thMay 2018, Amsterdam

4.WHO Guideline Review Meeting – 16th– 18thMay 2018, Geneva, Switzerland

5.Regional Symposium on Menstrual Health - 28 – 29 May 2018, Johannesburg, South Africa.

6.the YASSP (Youth Activist and Advocates Scoping Project) Round Table meeting June 5th and 6th 2018, London, UK.



 Apply to be a Youth Speaker at the International Family Planning Conference 12thto 15thNovember, Rwanda. Deadline is 21stMay Apply here;

Scholarships for 12 Young Leaders to attend the One Young World Summit in the Netherlands

Applications open for UNV and UNICEF Youth Advocates Pro 2018

Become a Youth Partner:


Meet the young women's networks


Positive Young Women Voices is a Community Based Organization in Dandora, Nairobi Kenya that aims to promote the rights of adolescent girls and young women in the community.

It started as a self-help group in the year 2014 but later registered as a community based organization in the year 2017. The idea of group formation was derived when these advocates noticed there were major challenges facing young women and girls living with and at risk of HIV acquisition within the Nairobi slums of Dandora.

The major challenges include teenage pregnancy, poverty, gender based violence, access to friendly health facility and information. Armed with experience they chose to fill the gaps by offering mentorship, provide linkages and referrals, create awareness and offer information.

PYWV partners with other organizations nationally and internationally to achieve its mandate. Partners Include NEPHAK, Dandora Hip Hop City, EGPAF, ICW, Sauti Skika, AYARHEP, PIPE, among others.

Vision: A society where young women and girls attain their rights to health, education and enjoy economic and social growth.

Mission: Empower and advocate for girls and young women to advance their lives through mentorship, dissemination of information on sexual reproductive health and HIV, linkages and referrals and economic growth.


 Adopt a girl’s month – this project provides sanitary towels to girls in five community schools and menstrual hygiene management, life skills and HIV/SRHR lessons as well as mentorship monthly. So far we have reached 200 girls with this project.

Mentor a young leader – As more focus is put on adolescent and young people to speak on their issues and have asks on big platforms both locally, regional and international platforms, there is need for mentorship for upcoming young leaders from youth leaders in the PLHIV field since the shift from board room commitments to community action has been adopted. As part of East and Southern Africa, we represent Kenya in the project funded by UNAIDS ESA Regional Office and have 15 young women leaders under mentorship

SGBV and Elimination and Sensitization: SGBV cannot be talked about enough and more action taken being owned by the community and everyone as an individual to see that it is eliminated. We have successfully had a walk speaking against gang rape normalized in the community and trainings conducted integrating PMTCT and SRHR in our work and trainings.

Future Plans

  • To conduct more trainings, Workshops, outreaches, advocacy on matters arising
  • Create and establish more partnerships and collaboration for greater impact
  • Build county networks
  • Achieve long term capacity building and funding
  • Build skills and enterprises for the young women
  • Establish a safe house/s for SGBV survivors
  • Have community schools as beneficiaries of the government Sanitary towels programme


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