On this International Human Rights Day 2015; The International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) stands in solidarity with our sisters all over the world to demand respect, protection and fulfilment of our fundamental human rights, including our rights to the highest attainable standard of health, rights to sexual and reproductive health and rights to be free from violence. ICW advocates for equality and human rights for all women, particularly, women living with HIV in all our diversity, including sex workers, women who inject drugs, transgender women, and women from Indigenous communities.
Denial of the fundamental human rights of women, persistent inequalities faced by women, discrimination, and persecution of key populations are driving the epidemic in places such as Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia and creating significant challenges to the HIV response such as loss-to follow up, low service demand and poor adherence in communities all around the world. Punitive laws and non-progressive legal environment contribute to alienating key populations, such as female sex workers, disempowering their abilities to seek HIV treatment, care and support.1
Respect for human rights is pivotal for effective global and national responses to HIV because where human rights of people living with HIV are not protected, we suffer stigma and discrimination, shy away from uptake of HIV prevention and treatment, care and support options, resulting in negative health and social consequences for people living with HIV and their communities.
Simply put, there can be no ending AIDS by 2030 without deliberate efforts to respect, protect and fulfil women’s human rights and support an enabling environment in which every woman and girl, particularly those living with HIV, in all our diversity can be able to actively contribute to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10th December and marks the last day of the 16 days of activism. As we enter the Post 2015 era and seek to realize the goals set in Agenda 2030, we recognize the fundamental role of human rights in strengthening the HIV response. In aligning with the theme of this year’s commemoration "Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always." ICW calls on policy makers at national, regional and global level to invest in interventions that seek to promote the realization of human rights and gender equality for all women.
NOTHING FOR US WITHOUT US