You're receiving this newsletter because you subscribed to our newsletter.

Having trouble reading this? View it in your browser.

ICW Global In Action

14th September 2016

ICW Global Updates


ICW Marks World Breastfeeding week 2016!

Picture courtesy World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action(WABA).

For women living with HIV, making informed choices around infant feeding options for their children is often difficult due to unclear and conflicting guidelines, incorrect information given by health clinics, social workers, and other people in our circle of care as well as confusion around what is best for both the mother and the child.

The International Community of women living with HIV (ICW) has documented the stigma and discrimination around breastfeeding experiences of mothers living with HIV in the ICW&GNP+ Early Infant Diagnosis report.

This year to mark the World Breastfeeding Week 2016, ICW shared some insights on the just released WHO 2016 guideline updates on HIV and infant feeding. This year’s theme Breastfeeding; a key to sustainable development’ underscores the critical links between breastfeeding and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To read the full statement click here.

Farewell words from Katie Filous our 2015/2016 Georgetown legal fellow.

"Dear all,

The time has come for me to move on from my first post-law school job. Luckily, ICW has been much more than a job. I have had the honor of walking alongside all of you while you work tirelessly as advocates for yourselves and for others in all corners of the world.

I have learned French from my West and Central African sisters on Skype and Whatsapp, enjoyed strong coffee with ICW MENA ROSA here in Washington D.C., watched our Eastern European sisters give speeches in front of the entire United Nations, been giggling “roommates” with sisters from ICW Central Asia, marched across Durban with sisters from East Africa, spent time loving positive women with ICW Asia Pacific at ICASA in Harare, refined amazing policy briefs and trainings with ICW Caribbean, lobbied every government possible in New York at the HLM with ICW Latina, been a part of the CYWAG media team at AIDS 2016, fought against criminalization with ICW North America, and, finally, have learned to enjoy ugali with my global office colleagues.

I can’t begin to thank all of you enough for the important, humbling, and inspiring experiences I have had this year, and for including me as a small part of your movement. I will carry women living with HIV with me throughout any and all work I pursue in my legal career going forward. I am proud to call you all my colleagues, allies, sisters, and friends.

Love Katie”.

ICW PrEP study workshop for research facilitators conducted.

Section of participants during the data collection workshop in Nairobi.

ICW with support from World Health Organization (WHO) is conducting a study to understand the knowledge, perceptions and preferences of young women aged 18-24 in Kenya regarding pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), HIV self-test and HIV partner testing.

The study will be conducted in five counties of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Siaya and Homabay in Kenya.

ICW also organized a stakeholders meeting on 18th August 2016. The meetings offered an opportunity for participants to learn about various data collection skills as well as review of data collection tools in preparation for data collection exercise planned for September 2016.

The research facilitator’s workshop follows a successful meeting with stakeholders that was held in July 2016.

ICW represented in the Global IATT meeting on option B+ in victoria falls,Zimbabwe

Francine from ICW-Central Africa is joined by MOH officials from her country Cameroon.

ICW joined partners and country delegations in a global option B+ meeting held in Victoria falls, Zimbabwe between 23rd and 26th August 2016.

The meeting which was convened by WHO in collaboration with UNICEF and the IATT for elimination of Mother to Child Transmission (eMTCT) generated discussion and consensus around the optimal operational approaches to address the reduction of vertical transmission and maintain positive health outcomes for both mother and child.

It also provided an opportunity for countries to share country experiences with one another to enable national programs develop a list of targeted action items for urgent incorporation into national strategies and HIV service roll-out plans.

One of the main expected outputs from the meeting included a policy brief to highlight the key operational learning elements outlining the important barriers and solutions proposed.

Body Mapping side effects workshop in Ottawa, Canada.

The workshop conducted on August 29th – 30th was the second is a pilot series funded by Women Xchange to explore the experiences of women living with HIV in regards to their side effects.

This work is building on the existing work of Marilou Gagnon, from the University of Ottawa. The workshop engaged 12 women living with HIV in a 2-day intensive arts based workshop.

Following this workshop ICW will be hosting a special ICW Members Advocacy Workshop on Wednesday, September 14th at 8am NYC/3pm Nairobi time led by Marilou Gagnon and some of the participants from the both the Toronto and Ottawa workshops.

ICW is excited to use this information to develop resource materials for women living with HIV on the physical, emotional and social side effects and coping mechanisms that women have been using. If you would like to get involved with this project or know more please contact

ICW #25yearsinsisterhood Tweetathon; What sisterhood means to me.

Our second of many ICW events to celebrate ICW’s 25th Year in Sisterhood was a very busy Tweetathon! During the one hour period three questions were asked:

  1. What does Sisterhood mean to you?
  2. Why is it important to support networks of women living with HIV?
  3. Why is it important that ICW is celebrating #25YearsinSisterhood? 

It was so powerful to hear all the amazing things that people from all around the world had to say about ICW and women living with HIV. If you missed it. Follow @ICW_Global and see all the magic.

Otherwise here are a few highlights: Q1: “My sisterhood is trans inclusive” "A sister is the doorway to peace" "#Sisterhood means putting into practice trust, transparency, inclusion, equity & solidarity" Q2: "becoz we need each other, their families need them too" "25 Years ago I was diagnosed with HIV, 25 years ago ICW was created ♡" "Networks of #WLHIV are valuable and the only voice for WLHIV" "#25yearsinsisterhood Means a sister cared about my burden enough to lighten it. thanks" Q3: "Inclusive diversity and leading to right way #25yearsinsisterhood""It's just goes to show what ICW has been doing to support women living with #IamICW" "#25YearsInSisterhood means that #WLHIV haven't walked alone, they've enjoyed tremendous support from @ICW_Global”

Tweetathon poster.

ICW Regional Updates

ICW Asia Pacific

ICW Asia Pacific has been busy mobilizing resources and drafting concept notes this month to support feminist movement building in the region. The chair of the ICWAP, Norlela was attended the Unzipthelips country coordination meeting. Together with the coordinator, who is the co-chair of Unzipthelips are planning their 16 Days of Activism regional activities.

ICW Caribbean

ICW Caribbean in Jamaica the ICW members participated in the Literature Review Club to draft position papers and advocacy letters, which were then turned to blogs to be shared on the JCW+ Blogvocacy page.

In addition to this, a letter and position paper in regards to a JCW+ review of the Sexual Offences Act has been sent to the Ministry of Justice in Jamaica. The team in Jamaica will be having a meeting with the Minister on November 25, 2016. Orange Day (which happens the 26th of each month) included a mini Twitterthon which had members of JCW+ tweeting their feelings about the revision of the Sexual Offenses Act using the hashtags: #ReviewDiTing #ReviewtheSOA #RapeIsRape.

Family and Friends Sensitization Session with the Jamaica HIV Response Program as a sub-sub recipient of the Global Fund Project continues. 6 of 8 sessions have been held thus far. The next session is Saturday, September 10, 2016.

ICW West and Central Africa

ICW West and Central Africa shares good news for ICW Burkina Faso! They have been admitted into CCM/GF, which means meaningful involvement of women living with HIV.

Having a seat on the CCM will ensure that women living with HIV groups have access to GF to the implement demand creation activities such as PMTCT, adherent support component.

ICW in Sierra Leone is busy carrying out community dialogues on the impact of Ebola and how it affected the community of people living with HIV especially women and seeking for a solution to avoid future outbreak.

ICW Eastern Africa

ICW Eastern Africa launched their quarterly newsletter packed full of information and activities. To read more about what’s been going on at in the region click here

ICW Europe & Central Asia

EWNA regional meeting

ICW Europe and Central Asia via Eurasian Women’s Network on AIDS participated in the Eurasian Convening of Regional Networks in Tbilisi, Georgia to discuss transition plans to middle income countries in relation to the Global, national strategies and funding as well as network programs.

EWNA announced an open call for women's organizations for the activities of the national campaign against gender-based violence, there is no justification for violence! In the framework of the regional campaign.

The maximum amount of mini-grant $1800 us dollars. Mini-grant gets only one organization in the country.

For more contact Details on the link:

ICW Latina

ICW Latin America under the project 'Accelerating regional response for women living with HIV', funded by the Global Fund and implemented by ICW Latina, the 18 chapters of the community, have been activated in the design, planning and implementation of activities incidence, and the presentation of Regional, Legal and Political Mapping.

The project prioritizes eleven chapters’ aims to ensure the effective participation of women in Latin American HIV-making spaces regional decision and sub-regional awareness about HIV, and links between gender inequality, violence against women and include them in policies and programs.

To this end, it has designed a baseline and a Legal and Policy Mapping as a platform of this process that aims to raise the voices and demands of women living with HIV concerning the link between Violation of Human Rights and Violence against women with HIV.

At the end of the project have women with HIV empowered to influence decision makers for the modification and implementation of regulatory frameworks, in order to contribute to reducing the vulnerability of women to HIV and improve their quality of life.

To achieve these objectives will mean a process which seeks to strengthen the skills, knowledge, abilities and skills in human rights and non-violence against women with HIV, processes awareness on human rights, access to justice and community approach.

Progress and limitations Guatemala, El Salvador, Peru, Costa Rica and Nicaragua are the countries that has so far presented mapping to different stakeholders, partner organizations, media and decision makers.

In this sense, the study shows that there has been progress with regard to respect for human rights of women living with HIV in laws, however, also highlighted limitations in their implementation and the definition of indicators for subsequent measurement range.

ICW Latina conducted a study on the basis of a key informant’s documentary review of research reports and regional resolutions.

In total 220 analyzed documents such as; laws, plans, droughts care, and ministerial resolutions, among others.

Women Living with HIV Equity and Gender Equality, HIV and AIDS, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Violence against Women is an evaluation of the legal framework and policies related to gender equity and equality, HIV, sexual and reproductive health and violence against women living with HIV in 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This project was carried out in support of the Global Fund grant to ICW Latina for more information contact


ICW Middle East and North Africa via MENA RosaThe Minister of Health in Tunisia worked with the Global Fund and ATP+ (a partner of MENA Rosa), the Association for work for the right and dignity of women living with HIV, MSM, and transgender people in the region to submit a successful proposal.

A proposal for advocacy for the right of children and girls living with HIV was drafted. HIV stigma has been a difficult issue for children in the region starting with the hospital (ICW International Steering Committee member Souhalia Ben Said talks about it in this article).

Currently in the members are writing advocacy letters to the Minister of Women and Family and Children in Tunisia. In Algeria women are mobilizing and engaging in Global Fund processes.

ICW North America

ICW North Americawas busy preparing for the PWNUS Summit at the end of September with a whopping 4 presentations linking their regional work to global advocacy, self-care and positive sexuality.

In addition, ICWNA worked on resource mobilization actively writing grants and supported a Body Mapping workshop on Side Effects and HIV in Ottawa.

ICW Chapter of young women and adolescent girls (CYWAG)

ICW Chapter for Young Women, Adolescents and Girls gave a strong presentation and report back from AIDS 2016 at the ICW Advocacy Workshop on August 10th. They are currently preparing for a September election of a new International Steering Committee Member. If you would like to find out more contact the current ISC representative .


The diary of an AIDS Activist: lost to temper and hungry for hope, Open Democracy:

VIH sigue en aumento en el pais, La Presnse:

NZ Maori HIV organization receives Red Ribbon Award for outstanding community leadership on AIDS, INA Foundation:

Internews б Центральнои Азии представляет второи выпуск прогаммы «Гепои рядом», Open Asia:

W$GF speaks to Florence Anam from ICW during AIDS 2016, Women4GF:

Rhetoric meets reality: ending HIV and AIDS, Open Democracy:

Clara Banya e la lotta all’HIV in Malawi, Rivista:

ICW Nicaragua fortalice alianzas, ICW Latina:

ABC de las metas 90-90-90, ICW Latina:

Situacion VIH en Uruguay, ICW Latina:

Alianza con abagados y comunicadores, Nicaragua:

High Level Political Forum 2016: Ensuring that no woman or girls living with HIV is left behind, ICW:

ICW Workshops and Events

14 Sept.

ICW Members Global Advocacy Workshops:

Side Effects and Our Bodies – Presented by Marilou Gangnon PhD and ICWNA Members, Skype/Phone, Wednesday, September 14th, 8am Washington/3pm Nairobi.

25 Sept.

ICW 25 Years in Sisterhood Events:

An ongoing series happening every 25th of each month. Join ICW in tweet-a-thons, social media campaigns, public demonstrations and other fun activities to celebrate! For more information or to plan your own local event please contact

ICW Story Sharing Circle, Virtual, Sunday, September 25th

In September (until the 20th) we will be collecting blogs and stories of women living with HIV's resilience over the last 25 years answering the question What Does ICW Mean to You? You can write a 500 word blog, 30 second video or a video recording.For more information or to submit your story please contact . The stories will be launch on and social media on Sunday, September 25th.

Upcoming Events and Times for Global Action

  • ICW Members Global Advocacy Workshops:

Advocacy Workshops is an ongoing monthly program to share knowledge and engage ICW members in global processes that impact their lives. These workshops are open to all self- identifying women living with HIV around the world and take place on Skype. To register for a workshop please contact

Side Effects and Our Bodies – Presented by Marilou Gangnon PhD and ICWNA Members, Skype/Phone, Wednesday, September 14th, 8am Washington/3pm Nairobi

How to get involved in the Global Fund Processes – Presented by Maurine Murenga, Skype/Phone, Wednesday, October 12th, 8am Washington/3pm Nairobi

PrEP and Young Women – Presented by Lucy Akiru Wanjiku and Florence Anam, Skype/Phone, Wednesday, November 9th, 7am Washington/3pm Nairobi (please note that daylight saving might slightly alter the time of the workshop for some)

  • ICW 25 Years in Sisterhood Events:

An ongoing series happening every 25th of each month. Join ICW in tweet-a-thons, social media campaigns, public demonstrations and other fun activities to celebrate! For more information or to plan your own local event please contact

  • ICW Story Sharing Circle, Virtual, Sunday, September 25th

In September (until the 20th) we will be collecting blogs and stories of women living with HIV's resilience over the last 25 years answering the question What Does ICW Mean to You? You can write a 500 word blog, 30 second video or a video recording.For more information or to submit your story please contact . The stories will be launch on and social media on Sunday, September 25th.

  • We are a Family Celebration, Jamaica, Tuesday, October 25th

If you are in Montego Bay, at the end of October, join ICW Caribbean and friends for an evening of celebration of 25 Years of Sisterhood. If you cannot be there in person, you are encouraged to send your messages to them using social media. For more information please contact

Meet the Staff



Jessica Whitbread



Title/Position in Region

Community relations and mobilizations Manager


North America

Who I Am

I was born in 1980 in Toronto, Canada. While I have spent time in many places I still call Toronto my home, I time share between Toronto and Sofia, Bulgaria. In 2001, I contracted HIV and almost right away started doing advocacy in the community. I love, love, love provoking dialogue and direction action activism.

I identify as a queer woman and also do lots of advocacy in regards to LGBTQ rights and support my friends, family and lovers big time who identify as sex workers (well even if they don’t identify and still do it) and/or use drugs.

I dislike bullying and think the world needs more kindness in order to actually make social change. I am a proud member of ICW and have been since 2008.


WHAT DO I DO: I like to merge art and activism to create social change and build strong vibrant feminist movements inclusive of all people. In my current role as the Community Relations & Mobilization Manager I act as the point person for ICW members, generally ensuring that new members are welcomed and know about what is happening.In addition to this, I write the monthly In Action which I have been doing for the most part since the spring of 2013; represent ICW as a permanent partner on the International AIDS Conference Conference Coordinating Committee; develop and facilitate workshops and act as the focal person supporting ICW in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Caribbean, North American regions as well as the Chapter for Young Women, Adolescents and Girls (CYWAG). Finally, I also support all the work in the Global Office in regards to HIV Criminalization and key populations. I love my job!!!

WHY IS ICW IMPORTANT? ICW is important because it is a very special place for women from all over the world, from all walks for life, to come together and collectively support each other to advocate for our rights. While we all have different experiences living with HIV, there is a thread of understanding that brings us all together. I have not felt this in any other place and I am very grateful that ICW exists. For me, the most important part about ICW is that we, as women living with HIV get to constantly get to direct the issues and shape ICW as we see fit. By this I mean, we are all ICW and ICW is us.

Side Note: As you probably see from my photo I am having some babies soon! I will be going on maternity leave from Oct 1 – February 1, 2017.


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

Not interested anymore? Unsubscribe from this list | Unsubscribe from all lists