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ICW Global In Action
 

September 2017

ICW Global Updates

   

BMJ Publishes ART recomendations for pregnant women living with HIV

Photo from internet images

The International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) would like to inform members and partners of two new articles that have recently published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) giving recommendations for ART for women living with HIV during pregnancy.

ICW having been involved in the development of the article welcome in which Several ICW members and staff took part. ICW was represented in this process by Marama Mullen (ICW chair), Teresia Njoki (ICWNA regional coordinator), Florence Anam (ICW Global office) and Sophie Dilmitis (Women 4 Global Fund), Alice Welbourne Director Salamander trust provided a commentary on the articles. See the link here;- http://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2017/09/11/alice-welbourn-who-and-the-rights-of-women-living-with-hiv/

ICW extends our gratitude to the team of researchers and doctors who provided an opportunity for women living with HIV to be a part of this important process.

We reiterate our commitment towards ensuring women living with HIV are involved at all levels of the HIV response and underscore that our participation in research is important for giving our perspectives thereby providing evidence for making HIV policy and programs responsive to the needs of communities, particularly women and girls living with HIV. We urge stakeholders to continue involving and building our capacity to engage in these processes.

Please read and share the two published articles below:

a) Antiretroviral therapy in pregnant women living with HIV: a clinical practice guideline; - BMJ 2017; 358 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j3961 (Published 11 September 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j3961

b) Values and preferences of women living with HIV who are pregnant, postpartum or considering pregnancy on choice of antiretroviral therapy during pregnancy;- http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019023

We are aware that these new recommendations may result it confusions among our membership, it is really important for our members and all women living with HIV that are concerned about what ART they may be on at present, or plan to be on if they are pregnant to discuss with their doctors or health care providers in order to understand what is being recommended in your specific country.  

Please note that it is really important NOT TO STOP taking the ART that you are currently on until you can transition on to a different one as recommended by your health care provider.

Activity to Impact

ICW conducts Organizational Mapping tool (OMT) process

ICW staff going through the OMT process at the office

This year ICW has intensified our focus on strengthening our internal processes through systematic audits to identify organizational gaps and undergo systems strengthening and capacity building to update and enhance our governance policies and procedures through the International Steering Committee (ISC) and Regional Boards as well as Regional and Global Staff.

As part of this process ICW engaged in an Organizational Capacity Assessment to understand the strengths and areas of improvement within our systems and processes. Using the Organization Management Tool (OMT) Process and with support from FORD; ICW worked with a consultant in this activity which was a great learning process.

The findings will provide a backdrop for our strategizing for the next three years as ICW embarks on developing our new Strategic plan. This process will enable ICW to address gaps in institutional strength, improve capacity and institutional strength of the ICW Global Network and strengthen the effectiveness of and evidence base for our global, regional and local advocacy.

Stigma Index Working group meeting

The International community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) joined the Stigma Index Small Working meeting on 24th to 15th Aug 2017 in Washington DC at the Population Council’s office to finalize the Stigma Index 2.0.

The People Living with HIV Stigma index is a survey led by people living with HIV that measures and detects changing trends in relation to stigma and discrimination experienced by people living with HIV.

The Stigma Index Partners Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+),ICW and UNAIDS with support from USAID and the leadership of project SOAR have been engaged in the review of the Stigma Index tool to develop Stigma Index 2.0.

At this meeting, the research team from Project SOAR – Scott, Julie, Ann and myself reporting back to the Stigma Index partners and USAID on the pilot studies conducted in Uganda, Senegal and ongoing in Cameroon. The working group then reviewed and gave recommendations for finalizing the tool. The revised questionnaire and user guide expected to be available by end 2017.

ICW will be reaching out to our regional networks and membership to sensitize and identify areas  of collaboration and offer support aimed at ensuring women and girls living with HIV collaborate with in-country Stigma index processes.

Florence(ICW), Julian(GNP+) and Prossy(NAFOPHANU) pose for a picture during the meeting

ICW to host PMTCT meeting in Yaoundé Cameroon

The International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW), World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, in partnership with regional and global stakeholders are planning a Community Consultation in November 2017 in Yaoundé, Cameroon to strengthen the dialogue between Governments and civil society and propose concrete actions to be implemented by both groups of actors.

The Community Consultation will convene participants from civil society and Ministries of Health. The intent is to bring together decision makers from government and representatives from the community who are involved with supporting women, adolescents and children living with HIV.

One main focus of the consultation is to discuss strengthening the role of peer support to improve service utilization, retention, adherence and quality of care for women, adolescents and children living with HIV in the context of national HIV treatment and prevention programs.

As a backdrop to the consultation the WHO will prepare summary papers reviewing outcomes of the INSPIRE project as well the body of published and program literature that speaks to proven models of peer support and care.

News

Five African Countries Approach Control of Their HIV Epidemics as U.S. Government Launches Bold Strategy to Accelerate Progress;- https://www.pepfar.gov/press/releases/2017/274155.htm.

U.S. AIDS strategy to focus on 13 countries close to controlling epidemic;- http://whtc.com/news/articles/2017/sep/19/us-aids-strategy-to-focus-on-13-countries-close-to-controlling-epidemic/.

In Africa, a Glimpse of Hope for Beating HIV; - https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/09/19/opinion/in-africa-a-glimpse-of-hope-for-beating-hiv.html?referer=https://www.google.com/.

Stop TB Partnership and WHO build high level commitment towards 2018 UN High Level Meeting on TB;- http://mailchi.mp/stoptb/stop-tb-partnership-and-who-build-high-level-commitment-towards-2018-un-high-level-meeting-on-tb?e=823b36de2e.

Gracia Violeta Ross Quiroga will be awarded ICRW’s 2017 Paula Kantor Award for Excellence in Field Research;- http://mailchi.mp/icrw/all-in-for-gender-equality-research-award-announcements?e=5de85a6ce0. 

WHO applauds the launch of Thailand's First National Tuberculosis Research Roadmap; - http://mailchi.mp/who/thairesearchroadmap?e=a956c378e7.

Health and Observance days coming up

1 Oct

International Day of Older Persons

image from internet

25 Nov

International Day to end Violence Against Women

Upcoming Events and Times for Global Action

  • Upcoming events and conferences to participate in and report on

REPSSI Conference 3rd to 6th September 2017, Dar-es-salam, Tanzania

AIDS Impact 13th International Conference- 13th to 15th 2017, Capetown, South Africa.

ICASA- 4th – 9th December 2017; Abidjan Cote d’ ivore

  • Upcoming meetings and deliberations for ICW engagement in the next months

WHO Africa Regional Joint TB and HIV Program Managers meeting 19th – 22nd Harare, Zimbabwe

ICW, WHO and UNICEF Community consultation on the role of peer support in the retention of women, adolescents and children in HIV care and ARV Management. November 2017, Yaoundé Cameroon.

WHO Wilton Park Meeting; - The importance of SRHR to reach HIV fast-track goals and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for women and girls. October 25th and 27th 2017, Wilton Park, United Kingdom

ICW Strategic Plan meeting November 2017, Bangkok

Meet the women of ICW

 

Name

Clara Banya

Country

Malawi

Title/Position in Region

National Cordinator ICW Malawi

Region

Southern Africa

Who I Am

I am one person who is so determined. I put all my heart to one thing regardless of the situation. I am a risk taker. Likes networking and making new friends, this has brought a lot of opportunities in life.

I am a wife and a mother of 2 children. A girl aged 14 and a boy aged 10. During my free time I take my kids to the lake, and because my home village is along the way. I use that as an opportunity to see my mother.

WHAT DO I DO: I manage, support, mobilize and strategize with a very hard working team of women. They most of the times challenge me and made me live outside my comfort zone. Though working on voluntary basis the team motivates me, I am always on my toes working hard not to disappoint them.

As a National Coordinator for the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW Malawi Chapter) responsible for planning, coordinating and monitoring organizational activities, a member of African Community Advisory Board, CHAI - UNTAID Community Advisory Board for Treatment Optimization Project and a Self Advocate Ambassador for Coalition of Children Affected by AIDS i offer technical advice to People living with HIV organizations, encourages testing, combats stigma and discrimination and speaks publicly about HIV in Malawi. I feel empowered to share my story to help in the development of policies and commitment of funds – domestically and through the Global Fund in Speaker Bureau – to address real life issues people face.

WHY IS ICW IMPORTANT?

Nothing for Us without Us.

There is an interaction of experiences globally whereby it is easy to combat similar problems faced in different countries. HIV affects women more than men especially in southern Africa. ICW create a safe space where women amplify their voices to influence policies and issues affecting them.

 

You can help us amplify our impact and improve the lives of women and girls living with HIV

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