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ICW Global In Action

December 2017

ICW Global Updates



ICW reiterates our commitment in joining partners and stakeholders to speak out against human rights violations in health care settings and in community faced by women and girls particularly women and girls living with HIV Globally.

Women living with HIV, particularly networks of women living with HIV have been sounding the alarm and raising awareness of our lived experiences of stigma, discrimination and human rights abuses in health care settings especially in the context of realizing our sexual and reproductive health and rights for the past 25 years.

With relatively limited resources, we have been documenting and raising awareness about the negative impact of stigma and discrimination on our ability to access and adhere to treatment and we have supported the call to arms from our sisters, allies and partners in key populations about the damaging impact stigma has. Forced and coerced sterilization is a particularly violent and egregious violation that occurs in a continuum of disrespect for the dignity and agency of women living with HIV in the context of our reproductive health and rights.

Since the first ICW and Namibian Women’s Health Network younger women’s dialogue in Namibia and even before that, ICW and our sister networks have been calling for an end to forcible and coercive practices in healthcare settings such as forced and coerced sterilization, coerced contraception, and abortion. Evidence shows that Forced and coerced sterilization has now been reported in over 30 countries worldwide. Despite differences of geography the stories are very similar.

ICW Eastern Africa (ICWEA) recently completed research focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) violations experienced by women of reproductive age living with HIV within clinical and community settings focusing on coerced/forced sterilization in clinical settings. (In partnership with Stop AIDS Now and the Link UP Project).

This is not a problem of the past- this is a problem today, now and our seeking its solution urgent for the lives and wellbeing of women living with HIV and for our shared goals to reach 90 90 90.

As a result of the bravery of women living with HIV coming forward to report these violations, often at great personal risk, women and legal partners have been able to bring litigation in Namibia and Chile and ICW’s sister networks along with KELIN and GEMS are involved in two cases now in Kenya as well as ICW Southern Africa having filed a complaint before the Commission on Gender Equality in South Africa on behalf of women who have been forcibly sterilized there.

But we know that litigation alone will not create the sea change we need. We need structural changes that reach down to the grass roots We need policy and practice that doesn’t just sit in policy binders but that are empowering women to know their rights particularly SRHR and supporting them to claim those rights- right from the private intimate spaces of clinic and doctors’ offices to global decision making platforms.

We want this to stop so that not one more woman experiences this violence.

Activity to Impact

ICW conducts strategic Plan meeting

Participants during the meeting

The International Community of Women Living with HIV came together in November 5th to 10th 2017 in Bangkok Thailand to review and collaboratively strategize for development of our strategic plan 2018-2021.

The meeting brought together Regional coordinators, International Steering Committee members and Global office secretariat staff. An Annual General meeting attended by ISC members followed at the tail end of the convening. During the meeting Marama Mullen from ICW Asia Pacific was elected as our new Chair and Ruth Linares from ICW Latina as Vice Chair of the International Steering Committee.

We are excited at the opportunity to formally have a team of dedicated leadership that is committed to strengthening our governance structure and give support to ICW’s operations in our service to our sisters globally.

ICW hosts PMTCT meeting in Younde Cameroon

group photo of participants during the conveening

The International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW), World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, in partnership with regional and global stakeholders convened a Community Consultation on November 16th and 17th 2017 in Yaoundé, Cameroon to strengthen the dialogue between Governments and civil society and propose concrete actions to be implemented by both groups of actors.

The Community Consultation convened participants from community, civil society and Ministries of Health.The intent was to bring together decision makers from government and representatives from the community who are involved with supporting women, adolescents and children living with HIV.

One main focus of the consultation was to discuss strengthening the role of peer support to improve service utilization, retention, adherence and quality of care for women, adolescents and children living with HIV in the context of national HIV treatment and prevention programs. As a backdrop to the consultation the WHO prepared summary papers reviewing outcomes of the INSPIRE and OHTA project as well the body of published and program literature that speaks to proven models of peer support and care.

ICW will share final meeting report in the New Year.

ICW end of year 2017 statement

As we come to the end of another fruitful year see below reflections from Rebecca Matheson, ICW global Director and Marama Mullen ICW International Steering Committee (ISC) Chair. Click here for the ICW end of year 2017 statement.

Happy Holidays!!


GNP+ calls on all People living with HIV around the world to please take this survey and let inform on what is going on for people living with HIV in your country. GNP+ will use your thoughts, concerns, and priorities to shape our strategic plan for 2018-2022. Please find the link to the survey here;-

Media registration and Scholarship application are now open for the 22nd International AIDS Conference to be held in Amsterdam in July 2018. For more information see the link here;-

UNAIDS announces nearly 21 million people living with HIV now on treatment;-

UNAIDS Launches 2017 WAD Campaign- My Health, My Right; -

In Africa, a Glimpse of Hope for Beating HIV; -

The World Weekly; HIV Stigma: the beginning of the end; -

U=U Unites with ITPC to improve the lives of People Living with HIV; -

Upcoming events and conferences to report on in January 2018

Dec 4

International Conference on AIDS and STI's in Africa; Abidjan Cote d Ivoire.

Dec 10

Global Fund/UNAIDS Meeting ;- Measuring treatment coverage amongs key populations living with HIV - the role of networks of key populations and PLHIV- 10th and 11th December 2017; Geneva.

Dec 12

UNAIDS 41st PCB Meeting 12th to 14th December 2017; Geneva.

Upcoming Events and Times for Global Action

  • Upcoming meetings and deliberations for ICW engagement in the next months

ICW RCNF Program reflection and strategic plan validation meeting February 2018

CSW62 – UN Headquarters New York- 12th to 23rd March 2018

  • Fundraising opportunity

The Global Fund RFP for capacity development of community groups working with Malaria

Aidsfonds and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance are pleased to announce this Call for Proposals on regional activities for the PITCH program in Southern Africa: To strengthen lobby and advocacy aimed at expanding HIV combination prevention in Southern Africa. With this call, PITCH aims to support civil society organizations and networks to effectively engage in and shape the regional HIV prevention agenda in Southern Africa. Organizations that meet the definitions and criteria set by this call for proposals are invited to apply for a grant to support the proposed activities for three years (2018-2020). For more information see the link here

The Stop TB Partnerships launched Round 8 of its Challenge Facility for Civil Society:
Grants of up to $40,000 are available for boosting demand and access to TB services and/or improving the quality of TB service delivery in Bangladesh, Cambodia, DR Congo, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania and Ukraine.

Applications are due Friday, 12 January 2018.MTV staying Alive grant –opens December 1st 2017. 

Meet the ICW Member



Francine Nganhale



Title/Position in Region

Regional Cordinator


ICW Central Africa

Who I Am

I’m Francine Nganhale, 34 year old woman who has been living with HIV since 1999. I discover my status at the age of 17 years, proud mother of a young boy of 17 years old. I recently got married and my husband and I are soon to be parents. We are waiting for this time in anticipation and I look forward to enjoying motherhood again.

I am extremely ambitious and self-motivated as a HIV advocate which has enabled me to contribute positively to my community volunteering to work with people living with HIV in association and all around, even orphans and vulnerable children, tuberculosis and malaria patients in my community.

Through my professional and personal experiences including participation in various workshops on the theme, and at Community level, my ability to collect. I was able to put forward my adaptability, autonomy and sense of responsibility. Through training, seminars and advocacy meetings, I was able to develop capacity building skills. Through my association commitment, I was able to contribute to the development of advocacy on TB, HIV and malaria, capacity building training. Also, make sure the position of Secretary in my association allowed me to develop skills in communication for the past 8 years. Thanks to my linguistic asset (French and English) and professional experiences, I think I have the skills to communicate and educate


I am currently the regional coordinator of ICW West Africa where I join a very passionate team for the rights of women living with HIV. I also have been volunteering as a focal person for the Cameroonian Network of people living with HIV. I also blogs long stories around HIV Tuberculosis and Malaria issues with advocates for the whole community and especially for people living with HIV. My ambition is to build my capacity to train and empower my community and specifically to stand as speaker to champion the work of ICW though women network because of my strategy position in community of civil society. I’m always appointed as a member of the UNAIDS Dialogue Platform on the Rights of Women living with HIV and part of the Community of Cameroonian women living with HIV and Aids (CCaF+/ICWCA). As a leader of association, i continue to play a central role in the Women’s Leadership Initiative, a joint endeavor of the work inside of Global Fund in my country.


ICW is very important for me because it is a platform where i learn a lot about issues of women living with HIV especially in my country and all over the world. It is also a base from which small regional networks like ICWCA are empowered to grow and make meaningful impact for women and girls in my region.


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

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