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February 2016

Monthly Updates




Love Positive Women: Romance Starts at Home

February is a big month for women living with HIV around the world as ICW celebrates the Love Positive Women holidays. Between February 1st–14th, 2016 members,partners and our allies engaged in a multitude of diverse activities to celebrate the lives of women living with HIV.

There were over 110 events and interventions that were carried out by over 70 partners globally involving a conservative estimate of 3,250 people directly. These included card marking sessions and mail-outs, public sculptures, dance parties, workplace selfies, popstar music videos, burlesque shows, workshops, movie nights, lunch events and so many more activities. With an average of 6,250 people looking at the LPW Facebook page each day and over 38,400 in total, we can announce that it was a great success. Beyond the numbers, the even more powerful pieces were the many letter and comments from community members saying how meaningful the campaign was to them.

If you didn’t participate in 2016 don’t worry it is an annual event, mark your calendars now for LPW 2017. To see all the amazing actions and interventions click here. To learn more about how to get involved in supporting LPW for 2017 please contact It is never too early to start planning.


Sustainable Development Goals Program

With generous funding from UN Women, ICW rolled out our new SDG Advocacy Action Planning Workshops. In February, ICW worked with networks of women living with HIV in Ukraine and Mozambique to raise awareness about SDGs and develop skills to analyse and prioritize the SDGs.The workshops resulted in country advocacy action plans driven by women living with HIV.

At the workshop key parters and ministers were invited to join and hear the demands of women living with HIV to join and hear their demands to be included in the SDGs implementation process and gather support for their work. 

A representative from UNDP in Ukraine lauded the workshop saying, “I cannot believe that you have done this already…you are the first group in Ukraine to have brought this to us. Congratulations”. 

To know more about the workshops visit our website


AIDS 2016; The Road to Durban

ICW spent the early days of the month supporting women living with HIV to submit abstracts and scholarship applications. With over 50% of the scholarships open to women living with HIV we pushed our membership hard to submit and use the resources available. ICW then followed up with a seven person team of volunteers to review the thousands of scholarship and abstract submissions. Thank you to the amazing team of women that took this thankless, behind the scenes work on. You know who you are and you are amazing!

ICW is a permanent partner for the Conference Coordinating Committee and actively involved in the Global Village and Youth Programmes Working Group, Plenary Speakers Working Group, Scholarship Selection Committee, as well as many of the other working groups and committees. For more information on AIDS 2016 please click here.

ICW is also an active partner in the Living Pre Conference. This is a conference that is only open to people living with HIV and will be joining partners in coordinating the Women Networking Zone at the conference.

“It is a really magical place and I couldn’t believe how good it felt to be in a room with all people living with HIV from around the world.” ICW Member, speaking about first attending the Living Pre Conference at AIDS 2012 in Washington. Registration is now open for this life changing opportunity.  For more details click here.


UN Women Strategic Discussion in NYC

ICW participated at the UN Women Strategic Discussion which focused on “Gender equality and HIV/AIDS: Putting Gender Justice at the Center of the Fast Track to End AIDS. The meeting was held on 18–19 February 2016 in New York.

The meeting participants reviewed the current evidence on the gender dimensions of HIV and developed strategies that advocates and activists can use to influence the UNAIDS Strategy, the sustainable development goals and high level meeting (HLM) and other high level advocacy spaces like Commission on the Status of Women and Women Deliver.

"We have very good policies" says Maureen Murenga ICW Advocacy Officer who attended the meeting for the Global Office. "However non of the funds of the HIV response are directly fund programs that directly address inequality".

This meeting called for a global campaign to ensure gender equality and justice programs are funded adequately. 


Stigma Index Meeting in Washington, DC

ICW, in collaboration with GNP+ and UNAIDS, approached USAID with a request to assist with the evaluation, adaptation and piloting of an expanded and strengthened People Living with HIV Stigma Index. USAID was also interested in implementing an adapted Index, as a means by which PEPFAR programs can monitor progress with HIV stigma reduction. USAID, in turn, approached Project SOAR to implement this work.

The mandate of Project SOAR is to design and conduct high quality HIV operations research, including issues related to methods and measurement, with the goal of improving programs and informing policies. Project SOAR is led by the Population Council.

The meeting clarified the expectations of USAID, UNAIDS, ICW and GNP+ in relation to what an evaluation of the stigma index means to different parties while working with USAID mechanisms to achieve desired objectives, provided an overview of the legal and policy concerns and implications of current family planning questions, and discussed the overall expectations and timeline for the project to update the People living with HIV Stigma Index.


Free Space Partners Meeting

ICW participated in the Free Space Process meeting held in Amsterdam 13th–15th February 2016, bringing together representatives from global and regional communities’ organization to identify and agree on broad priorities and commitments in regards to HIV advocacy.

The meeting participants worked together to develop an overarching Theory of Change for global advocacy for the period 2016–2020 and also identified opportunities within the many platforms available in 2016 for action for immediate advocacy priorities. Being a Valentines weekend, the team worked together to make a card in honor of the ICW Love Positive Women’s campaign.


Free Space Process partners during Advocacy workshop in Amsterdam


Regional Updates


ICW Asia Pacific was active, engaged and mobilized for Love Positive Women. There were concerts and dance parties in India, events with women living in prisons in Malaysia, public sculptures in Nepal, as well as numerous card making activities and celebrations of love in Australia, Philippines, Vietnam and Fiji to name a few. We are planning already for next year. Building off the successes of LPW ICWAP continued to use arts based approaches to gear up and engage women in preparation to the International Day to End Stigma and Discrimination. In addition to this ICWAP was involved and engaged in the regional HLM consultations and resource mobilization that was a joint effort with our regional partners. Our representative participated in the Global Fund Community Delegations and we had women trained in Psychosocial and legal literacy in Nepal.




ICW Caribbean was active in cross regional Love Positive Women activities. These activities launched the first activities in the newly developing ICW Antigua, Guyana and Barbados and built off the January Feminist Movement Building Workshops. These included spa days, cooking together, making appreciation cards and sewing quilts and seat cushions. Women in Jamaica celebrated with a number of events including an exchange of letter and cards with the Winnipeg Newcomers group in Canada. In addition to this the region participated in Orange Day to celebrate their hope for ending violence against women living with HIV. ICW Caribbean also launched a call for nominations for the regional elections for the ICW International Steering Committee Representative. The elected official will start her post in March.




ICW Chapter for Young Women, Adolescents and Girls (CYWAG) launched a call for the CYWAG Young Women’s Media Team for AIDS 2016. This program was generously funded by Johnson & Johnson and will support 5 women to be involved in a 6 month training program to build capacity and skills in communication, media and advocacy. The selected nominations will be shared in March when they accept their posts. CYWAG also met with 'Teenagizer' in Ukraine to discuss strengthening partnerships in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region especially with adolescent girls. In March CYWAG in partnership with the International AIDS Society will make a call to solicit questions from young women about sexual and reproductive heath and rights for a high level celebrity panel for AIDS 2016. Keep posted.

CYWAG member and Youth Co Intern, Jessica Ville did an amazing job this month leading a successful LPW event in Vancouver, Canada with Positive Women’s Network BC.


ICW Eastern Africa was active in February coordinating and hosting the ICW RCNF coordinators meeting in Kampala. There advocacy and other actions can be seen on their website:


Y-Peer members in Bulgaria during LPW event.


ICW Europe and Central Asia in partnership with the global office host the first national meeting that focused on the SDGs in relation to gender and HIV in Ukraine funded by UN Women. This 3-day workshop resulted in the development of an advocacy strategy inclusive of country SDG prioritization for women living with HIV. Regional members from Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan were also present. The region is hoping to implement more workshops later this year. In addition to this, regional representatives were present at the UN Women Strategic Discussion in NYC and well as in Washington, DC. Regionally there were numerous Love Positive Women events and activities.


ICW Latin America is hiring a position to work in their office. For more information please contact ICW Latin America Regional Cordinator (See contacts below). ICW Latina members also participated in a marathon meeting in Chile with regional leaders to strengthen support for women and girls living with HIV in the region. In addition ICW Latina chapters including ICW Peru carried out workshops with young people in the community.


ICW Middle East and North Africa actively engaged in the implementation of project entitled Karama. The Karama project is co-funded by the European Union, the British Council, and Tunisian Association management. The overall objective of Karama project was to enhance technical and organizational capacities of local associations in project management, research, communication skills, advocacy, resources mobilization and provide support to women victims of violence. The MENA region also participated in Love Positive Women.


ICW North America members were active participating and partnering with other organizations for Love Positive Women. Thank you to Positive Women’s Network US, Visual AIDS, Winnipeg GenderFest, Ontario AIDS Network and many of our others friends and supporters for all the amazing activities that took place from Feb 1st-14th. ICWNA is also in the process for finalizing policy briefs on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, HIV Criminalization and Violence Against Women.


ICW Southern Africa in partnership with ICW Mozambique and the ICW Global Office hosted a successful 3-day workshop on the Sustainable Development Goals in Mozambique. This workshop was attended by 18 women living with HIV including the Chair of the ICW Southern African Board from Swaziland. The region will be facilitating the same workshop in Namibia in March. This is also part of the UN Women funded program.


ICW West Africa in partnership withUNAIDS, ICW country chapters and other civil society coalition at the country level has organized a one day consultation meeting to brainstorm and discuss country specific positions leading to HLM in July.

Issues that were discussed in Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and Mali meetings are: loss to Follow up, achieving option B+, and 90 90 90 targets, other issues discussed were to ensure that nobody is left behind in the treatment and services, PEPFAR gaps, the role of Global Fund and West African Government in ensuring that test and treat becomes a reality.

The Fast Track Regional Meeting for West and Central Africa will be taking place in Dakar, Senegal on the 21st and 22nd March to agree on CSO positions leading up to the African Ministers of Health meeting coming up in Tunis, Tunisia in Same March and also HLM in July. ICW west and Central African represented by 4 persons will fully participate in this very important convening.


Upcoming Events


Conferences and Events


Save the date!

  • International Women’s Day, March 8 2016
  • World TB Day, March 24 2016
  • International Maternal Health and Rights Day April 11th
  • World Malaria Day, April 25th 2016. 



Love Positive Women! – Jessica Whitbread, Jonny Mexico & Theodore Kerr, No More Potlucks:

Forth Annual Genderfest Celebrates Diversity and Focuses on the Canadian Law, The Projector:

Winnipeggers send Valentine's Day love to HIV positive women, Metro Newspaper:

Love Positive Women, PWN Speaks:

#LovePositiveWomen, The Well Project:

Love Positive Women, Deb Washere:

My Sister’s Keeper, Suzette Moses Burton:

You’ll Love These Handmade Valentines for Women Living with HIV, Trenton Straube:

Love Positive Sex Workers, Winnipeg Sex Workers Collective:

Шанс на жизнь, Любовь ЧУБУКОВА:

I am courageous, I am brave and I am beautiful, Deloris Dockery:

Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Roar TV:

At the intersection: Women living with HIV and Tuberculosis, ICW:


Know the ICW staff!


Velvine Jobiese, ICW's Administrative Assistant.


WHO I'M I?  I am a mother, human rights activist and a former sex worker. I am also the Co-founder of the Kenya Sex Workers Alliance; (KESWA); a sex workers network in Kenya, where i served as the Charlady for 3 years.I believe in universal access to comprehensive prevention programs, treatment, care and support, but criminalized populations, such as sex workers are driven from HIV services by discrimination and violence, often at the hands of law enforcement officers implementing prostitution laws. That’s why I have been on the forefront in advocating for decriminalization of HIV, Drug use and Sex work in Kenya. I totally believe we cannot eradicate HIV and end AIDS if countries continue to have adverse laws that create barriers and make us not access prevention and treatment interventions.


WHAT DO I DO? I am the ICW Global Administrative Assistance based in the Global Office in Nairobi, Kenya. I am also a member of Kenya Sex Workers Alliance. In addition to my Administration roles i work closely with my colleagues to highlight the issues of key populations particularly women living with HIV and using drugs or doing sex work to ensure our voices are heard. I also work with different sex workers organizations on health, security and rights promotion.


WHY IS ICW IMPORTANT? ICW is important because it’s the network of self identifying women living with HIV and we embrace Diversity within different women.

ICW women

Get Involved


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

Look out for the HIV Vaccines Research and Development in partnership with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), Wednesday, April 13th at 3pm Nairobi/8am Washington time. email: to participate.


ICW women
ICW - The International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW)is the only global network by and for women living with HIV

Global Office

Yaya Center, Wood Avenue
Machera Court, Komo Lane
Ground Floor – CG

PO Box 7228 Postal Code 00100
Nairobi, Kenya

Kenyan Based Staff

Rebecca Matheson – Global Director

Velvine Jobiese – Administrative Assistant

Florence Anam – Advocacy and Communications Manager

Maurine Murenga – Global Fund Coordinator

Rose Adem – Finance Manager

Virtual Staff

Toronto, Canada

Jessica Whitbread – Community Relations & Mobilization Manager

Washington, DC, US

Sophie Brion – Human Rights Attorney

Washington, DC, US

Katie Filous – Legal Fellow

Kampala, Uganda

Margret Happy – Communications and Advocacy Officer

Regional Coordinators

ICW AP: Sita Shahi



ICW NA: Karen Marcinczyk

ICW MENA: Rita Wabah

ICW C: Olive Edwards

ICW LA: Arely Cano

ICW CA: Calorine Kenkem

ICW ECA: Sveta Morozo

International Steering

Asia Pacific

Norlela Mohktar, Nepal

Marama Pala, New Zealand,

Ag, Chairperson

Central Africa

Fetia Donatienne, Democratic Republic of Congo


Chrysol Albert, Hope, Guyana

East Africa

Teresia Njoki Otieno, Kenya

Europe and Central Asia

Olena Stryzak, Ukraine

Zhenya Mailyan

Latin America

Ruth Mery Linares Hidalgo, Costa Rica

Hilda Esquivel, Mexico

Middle East and North Africa

Souhalia Ben Said, Tunisia

North America

Deloris Dockrey, USA,


Marvelous Mucenje, Canada

Southern Africa

Thembi Mkambule

Global Chair

West Africa

Monisola Elizabeth Ajiboye, Nigeria

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