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ICW In Action
23rd December 2015

Keeping us on Agenda 2030

Making the SDG's work for women living with HIV

The International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) has been keenly monitoring the development of the Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs” or “Agenda 2030”). As we approach year zero of Agenda 2030, we know that implementation processes at country level will represent a unique and timely opportunity for women living with HIV to ensure that our needs are at the center of the development agenda for the next 15 years.

Agenda 2030 consists of 17 separate goals and under each goal are multiple targets addressing a wide range of issues. Although the goals are far from perfect, the broad agenda is an inspiring and unprecedented attempt to address a far-reaching set of environmental, social, and economic imbalances and inequalities, utilizing overarching principles of both human rights and gender equality. However, with so many different goals and targets and with countries able to selectively prioritize some goals over others, securing our top priorities at the country level will be a challenge!

While all the goals are important and many of the goals and targets are interrelated and intersectional, Agenda 2030 articulates several goals and targets that have specific potential to directly impact women living with HIV, and, of course, to impact and empower the HIV response.

Networks of women living with HIV must engage now to ensure that we remain on Agenda 2030 and that we make it work for us!

Here is a quick look at a few key SDG’s and how they line up with ICW Advocacy Agenda priorities:

SEXUAL REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS:

ICW works to ensure the sexual and reproductive rights of women living with HIV and enable women to make informed decisions on matters related to their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Some Relevant SDG’s and Targets:

GOAL 3: Ensure Healthy Lives and Promote Well-Being for All at All Ages 
  • Target 3.1 By 2030 reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births.
  • Target 3.7 By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services,including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes.
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
  • Target 5.6 Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conference.

ICW promotes the full realization of the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls living with HIV, including the right to have fulfilling sexual lives and express our sexual identities. Women living with HIV have the right to freedom from all forms of violence and to make autonomous decisions about whether to marry and/ or have children, and to make those decisions with access to comprehensive information about their bodies, sexuality, and the full range of reproductive choices. Women living with HIV must have access to appropriate and safe contraceptives, abortion and pregnancy support services; and the reduction of disproportionate rates of maternal mortality among women living with HIV must be prioritized. 

While access to healthcare has been “guaranteed” by Agenda 2030 for some, the goals disregard the full inclusion of people who are marginalized and socially excluded based on their sexual orientation and gender identities. In fact, the agenda largely fails to include LGBT rights, and its language on non-discrimination does not account for migratory status, economic status, age, or culture. Many women living with HIV have intersecting identities in one or more of these groups. The inclusion of all people, including those of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, is critical for realizing universal human rights and is specifically critical for women living with HIV. 

ACCESS TO TREATMENT CARE AND SUPPORT:

ICW aims to ensure comprehensive, quality and dignified health care for women living with HIV.

Relevant SDG’s and Targets:

Goal 3: Ensure Healthy Lives and Promote Well-Being for All at All Ages 

  • Target 3.3 By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases.
  • Target 3.8 Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

  • Target 5.1 End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.

Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all women living with HIV at all ages is essential to sustainable development. Ensuring healthy lives for women living with and at higher risk of acquiring HIV requires a holistic approach to treatment, care and support. Promoting our rights and participation in the country-level implementation of Agenda 2030 will improve health outcomes and generate healthier communities. 

ICW promotes the universal right of all people living with HIV to access reliable, comprehensive and sustainable care, treatment, and support. Women living with HIV must be able to make informed decisions about their own treatment and care. Stigma, discrimination and other barriers to treatment and care must be eliminated in order to ensure that women living with HIV and other marginalized populations can receive the care they need and are entitled to.

ICW emphasizes that young women and adolescent girls, as well as sex workers, women who use drugs, transgender women, imprisoned women, and migrant women require increased access to combination prevention services and to interventions that empower them to protect themselves from HIV and/or manage their own treatment. 

ENDING CRIMINALIZATION:

ICW advocates for an end to the criminalization of HIV transmission and exposure and other forms of criminalization that oppress women living with HIV in all our diversity.

Relevant SDG’s and Targets:

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

  • Target 5.1 End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.

Goal 16: Promote Just, Peaceful and Inclusive Societies.

  • Target 16.3 Promote the rule of law at national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all.

Another key strategy to both ensure the health rights of women living with HIV and to ultimately end the AIDS epidemic is to end criminalization of HIV transmission as well as of key populations. ICW believes that criminalization is counterproductive, unjust and non-inclusive. It discourages women living with HIV from accessing care, undermines the goals of counseling and the service provider relationship to their patients, increases the risk of violence against women living with HIV and can discourage people who know they have HIV from disclosing that fact to potential sexual partners and others.

ICW advocates to end criminalization of key populations who face unjust criminalization based on their lifestyles and identities, including but not limited to lesbian, bisexual and transgender women, women who use drugs, sex workers, and migrant and undocumented workers, which in turn increases their vulnerability to HIV acquisition. To do this, countries that currently have punitive laws against women living with HIV and key populations must repeal them and, instead, enact laws that facilitate and enable effective responses to HIV prevention, care, and treatment services for all who need them. 

For more information please visit:

www.iamicw.org

The International Community of Women Living with HIV, the first and only global network by and for women and girls living with HIV, has worked for over 20 years to address and support the challenges of, as well as collectively celebrate, all self-identifying women and girls living with HIV throughout the world.

ICW women

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International Steering
Committee

Asia Pacific

Sita Banjade, Nepal
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Marama Pala, New Zealand, Vice Chair
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Central Africa

Fetia Donatienne,
Democratic Republic of Congo
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Caribbean

Chrysol Albert – Hope, Guyana
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East Africa

Teresia Njoki Otieno, Kenya
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Europe and Central Asia

Olena Stryzak, Ukraine
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Zhenya Mailyan
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Latin America

Ruth Mery Linares Hidalgo, Costa Rica
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Hilda Esquivel, Mexico
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Middle East and North Africa

Souhalia Ben Said, Tunisia
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North America

Deloris Dockrey, USA,
Treasurer
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Marvelous Mucenje, Canada
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Southern Africa

Martha Tholanah, Zimbabwe,
Global Chair
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West Africa

Monisola Elizabeth Ajiboye, Nigeria
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