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ICW Global In Action

April 4 2018

ICW Global Updates


Why we need intensified Women and Girls leadership and participation to end TB

Poster courtesy WHO

This March 24th stakeholders in health and communities marked World TB Day; a day that is designed to raise awareness and rally public and government support and action needed to address the Tuberculosis epidemic in the world. The theme this year was “Leaders for a TB free World”.

In line with this theme the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) called on all our members to take lead at a personal level and in solidarity with community networks and country advocates to create awareness on the need for TB testing particularly among women and girls living with HIV in order to harness demand creation, reduce missed cases and increase early detection and treatment; We ask that women and girls strengthen our strategic partnerships in country and globally to increase financing and support for TB interventions and programs that are responsive to the needs of women living with HIV and our communities.

This is why; TB still remains the leading killer of HIV-positive people accounting for 40% of HIV deaths. [1] Tuberculosis continues to impact on the health of women living with HIV negatively and is still evidenced as the leading cause of death among women living with HIV of reproductive age worldwide[2].

Lack of strong and sustainable commitments to address social determinants of health like poverty and lack of nutrition continue to affect uptake and adherence to TB prevention and treatment. Evidence also shows us that TB is both treatable and curable however structural gaps and factors such as stigma and discrimination, gender inequalities and lack of respect for human rights are challenges that face women and girls living with HIV everyday posing their vulnerability to HIV and a possible vulnerability to TB.

We strongly believe that strengthened efforts towards inclusion of women and girls particularly women living with HIV as equal participants and stakeholders will yield great progress towards realizing the vision of a world free of TB. To read the full statement click here.


[2] UNAIDS 2017; Data report

Activity to Impact

ICW delivered Organizational Strengthening Technical Assistance to MENA ROSA

The International community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) represented by our Finance and Advocacy Managers joined our sisters from the MENA Region during a treatment and therapeutic meeting held in Tunisia on 10th to 15th of March 2018.

The meeting provided an opportunity for interacting with our sisters from the region and begin the much needed conversation for formalising the women’s network in the region. ICW guided the sessions aimed at discussing ways for strengthening women led advocacy as well as positioning for greater impact while remaining sustainable in an environment that continues to be affected by financial and structural constraints.

The meeting also shared with our individual and collective key achievements and learnings from our advocacy and networks strengthening, thus far while identifying the regions collective advocacy needs, ambitions and aspirations for the future.

A session during the meeting in Tunisia


ICW joins Global partners in Free Space Process (FSP) Partnership meeting

The International Community of Women Living with HIV was in attendance at the Free Space Process (FSP) partnership meeting held in Amsterdam between 11th to 13th March 2018.

The meeting was attended by ICW Global Director who joined our global partners in identifying advocacy priorities for 2018 and agreed on was for enhanced collaboration within membership for improved and strengthened global level advocacy.

ICW believes and invests in joint efforts with our partners that continues to ensure our advocacy impacts all women and girls regardless of our diversity.


ICW attend 62nd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62)

ICW Global Director and ISC Chair during the meeting at UNAIDS offices.

The International Community of Women Living with HIV was represented at the 62nd Commission on the Status of women held in New York 12th to 23rd March 2018.

ICW secretariat and regional representatives were present in the second week, participating in various side events and discourse aimed towards empowerment of women and girls particularly from rural communities. ICW also took this opportunity to meet with our partners and peer organizations to strategize together and identify opportunities for collaborative advocacy efforts that amplify our women and girl’s representation and participation in decision making platforms at all levels.

ICW Global Director-Rebecca Matheson, ICW Chair- Marama Mullen joined  global and regional partners in a meeting to welcome Gunilla Carlsson the new UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Management and Governance at the UNAIDS offices in New York.

ICW and key partners working on gender and HIV gave recommendations to reinvigorate and strengthen the Gender and Human Rights team within UNAIDS as a starting point to addressing structural drivers of inequality within the UN System.


ICW Launches the report 'Walking in our shoes'


The international Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) launched a new report ‘Walking in our shoes;Perspectives of pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV on access to and retention in care in Malawi, Uganda and Zambia’ on March 8th 2018.

The report shares the findings of a research that was coordinated jointly by theGlobal Network of People living with HIV (GNP+)and theInternational Community of Women living with HIV (ICW)in partnership withICW Eastern Africaand ICW Malawi and the Network of Zambian People living with HIV/AIDS (NZP+) and highlights the key factors that facilitate retention in care for women living with HIV and calls for increased focus on rights and dignity in care.

The report, presents the findings of community-led research related to the viewpoints and experiences of women who were initiated on antiretroviral treatment during pregnancy or breastfeeding and explores their perspectives on factors that have enabled them to successfully adhere to their treatment and retain in care. For more information on the report click here


UNAIDS Stigma and Discrimination Task team meeting

UNAIDS asked civil society leaders and expert researchers including ICW, to join a multi-stakeholder, ad-hoc task team for the development of summary measures on stigma, discrimination and an enabling policy environment for effective AIDS responses.

The task team was invited to meet at UNAIDS headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland in March 5-6 to develop a set of consensus recommendations to UNAIDS on the establishment of a country-level summary measure of stigma and discrimination faced by people living with HIV and key populations at high risk of HIV infection and the legal and policy environment for the protection of the fundamental rights of these individuals, including their ability to access health and HIV services.

ICW advocated at this meeting for a less rushed and more considered process of developing these indicators that would have stronger input from community and also have stronger scientific/ research foundation- to rigorously explore how best to measure issues like stigma and/ or discrimination and the enabling environment for effective HIV responses (including critically - gender equality, community engagement and human rights violations ) given that these types of issues pose unique challenges for measurement and do not necessarily align very easily with existing epidemiological indicators or data collection.

Challenges include how to adequately measure and benchmark diverse experiences of stigma amongst key population groups; We also as for the inclusion of data from a range of sources to inform and the inclusion of a range of drivers—such as laws and policies, gender equality, socio-cultural beliefs, community engagement and systems for accountability and redress.

Moving Forward ICW will strengthen our collaboration with partner organizations including but not limited to GNP+, MSMGF, NSWP to continue to monitor the development of these indicators to ensure that they adequately benchmark progress towards reduction of stigma and also to effect structural change that will reduce or eliminate discriminatory practices.


ICW represented at the WHO Civil Society meeting on HIV, TB, Viral Hepatitis, STI's and UHC

ICW Chair Marama Mullen makes an intervention at the meeting

The International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) joined key civil society leaders and representatives in Geneva for the WHO Civil Society Meeting on HIV, TB, Hepatitis, STI’s and Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

This meeting was important for ICW as discussions aimed at advancing the responses to HIV, viral hepatitis, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections through universal health coverage framework.

As communities of women living with HIV that understand our health and social needs transcend way beyond the biomedical HIV treatment this meeting was instrumental not only for learning but also our understanding of the role that civil society and community networks can undertake in country, at regional and national level to intensify advocacy for UHC.

ICW recognizes that universal health coverage offers a unique opportunity to galvanise political commitment for high standards of health and therefore In the coming years  will be reaching out to our sister networks in intensified actions and responses to amplify our women led representation and participation for UHC and particularly in how these relate to our access to HIV, STI, Hepatitis and STI prevention and treatment intervention that is respective of rights and responsive to the needs of women and girls.


The International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC) has just released the Key Population Activist Toolkit on PrEP, developed to equip community activists with the knowledge and skills they need to demand pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) –

Investing in Her to end TB

ICW International Discrimination Day 2018 statement-

Global CSO’s call on IAS to reconsider decision to host AIDS 2020 in San Fransisco-

ICW Workshops and Events

7 Apr

World Health Day 

Poster courtesy of WHO

25 Apr

World Malaria Day

Upcoming Events and Times for Global Action

Upcoming events and conferences

  • WHO IAWG SRHR and HIV linkages meeting, 18-20 May 2018, Montreaux Switzerland
  • RCNF Collective Impact meeting 11th – 15th May 2018, Amsterdam
  • WHO Guideline Review Meeting – 16th – 18th, Geneva, Switzerland
  • 22nd International AIDS Conference 23rd – 27th July 2018, Amsterdam
  • International Family Planning Conference 12th to 15th November, Rwanda. Abstract submission deadline 13th April-

Representation opportunity

Call for applications to join the Y+ Board. Y+ seeks young people living with HIV who are passionate about making a difference in the community, region and globally to join their Board. See details here:

Fundraising opportunity

Mama Cash is receiving Letters of Interest fromapplicants who are not current grantee-partners from 19 March –17 April 2018, 11:59 pm CEST. Groups that apply during this grantmaking window will receive a response from Mama Cash by 31 May 2018. Information and (online) application form are available in multiple languages:

Meet the ICW women



Sita Shahi



Title/Position in Region

Regional Cordinator


Asia Pacific


I am 38 years old, am originally from Nepal and live in Bangkok, a mother who is positively fabulous and currently the ICW Asia Pacific Regional Cordinator. I love my work as it connects me with women living with HIV like me and together we jointly engage with stakeholders to seek and fight for women’s right and dignity particularly women living with HIV in all our diversity.


ICW is my safe home and there are my family members where I feel bounded I can pour my burden & pain and anger for positive change. There are the people who can hear my heart bit and realize if have been through any obstacles in my life cycle. ICW is Umbrella that protect me from the rain ICW is a playing ground where I am comfortable to learn even I am fail for many time. There are teacher always guide me to speak up, ICW is rock who protect me from all the storm. most importantly only one that is ICW, respect our diversity no matter what cast, religion and work I do and treats as a family member therefore I am there and will be ICW family till the end.


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