The International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) joins with communities around the world in commemorating the International Candlelight Memorial marked on 21st May 2017. ICW honors our sisters, women and girls living with HIV who have died from HIV and AIDS.
This year, in light of the International Candlelight Memorial 2017 theme of "Ending AIDS Together," ICW’s Global sisterhood urges decision makers, donors, policy-makers, governments, and private sector to take action now to strengthen the capacity of networks of women and girls living with HIV to exist and make impactful change within the HIV response that is reflective of our lived realities and that promotes our human rights, seeks gender equality, and realizes the meaningful involvement of women and girls living with HIV at all decision-making levels within the HIV response.
Despite decades-old evidence showing that most successful and effective responses to health challenges begin at the community level, many successful grassroots responses have yet to be scaled-up and strengthened to withstand internal and external pressures that continue to threaten our operations and impede our sustainability to realize our dreams for being meaningfully involved in all aspects of decision making for issues that affect our lives.
This is the reality for many grassroots networks affected by diseases and has become a real threat for ICW both at the Global office and ICW regional Networks who continue to face resource incapacities to undertake optimal operations with many of our regional networks facing threats to their ability to remain operational and sustainable.
The fiscal environment we are operating in continues to impede successful implementation of the Greater and Meaningful Participation of People Living with HIV (MIPA/GIPA) in the HIV response particularly curtailing the opportunities for effective participation of women living with HIV in the planning, designing, implementation and monitoring processes within the HIV response that have proven useful in creating effective deliverables for addressing the AIDS Epidemic.
Globally we have set an ambitious targets to end AIDS by 2030, what remains critical however is the role of agency and the role and participation of community networks particularly networks of women living with HIV in realizing these targets. ICW remains committed to strengthening our institutional and operational capacity from grassroots to global levels in order to strengthen our accountability mechanisms with our members, partners and all stakeholders.
We ask for renewed commitment from our partners and donors 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.
NOTHING FOR US WITHOUT US!
 Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV (GIPA) and Meaningful Involvement of People Living with HIV (MIPA) are principles that aim to realize the rights and responsibilities of people living with HIV, including their rights to self-determination and participation in decision-making processes that affect their lives. The concept of MIPA also aims to enhance the quality and effectiveness of the AIDS response. MIPA embodies two principles: (1) recognizing the important contributions that people living with HIV can make; and (2) creating structures for the meaningful and active participation of people living with HIV in HIV responses.