The risk of HIV infection and its impact feeds on violations of human rights, including discrimination against women and marginalized groups such as sex workers, people who inject drugs and men who have sex with men. HIV also frequently begets human rights violations such as further discrimination and violence. Over the past decade the critical need for strengthening human rights to effectively respond to the epidemic and deal with its effects has become evermore clear. Protecting human rights and promoting public health are mutually reinforcing.
Several countries still have policies that interfere with the accessibility and effectiveness of HIV-related measures for prevention and care. Examples include laws criminalizing consensual sex between men, prohibiting condom and needle access for prisoners, and using residency status to restrict access to prevention and treatment services. At the same time, laws and regulations protecting people with HIV from discrimination are not enacted, or fully implemented or enforced.
Reforming laws and policies that are based in deeply-rooted social attitudes and norms such as gender inequality requires multisectoral collaboration. Although not sufficient to change social attitudes, legislation is important for addressing acts of discrimination. Civil society, including organizations of people living with HIV, as well as other parts of society, including police and justice systems, have a critical role to play. International organizations and donors can also play a positive role in support of local and national actors.
The protection of human rights, both of those vulnerable to infection and those already infected, is not only right, but also produces positive public health results against HIV. In particular, it has also become increasingly clear that:
- National and local responses will not work without the full engagement and participation of those affected by HIV, particularly people living with HIV.
- The human rights of women, young people and children must be protected if they are to avoid infection and withstand the impact of HIV.
- The human rights of marginalized groups (sex workers, people who use drugs, men who have sex with men, prisoners) must also be respected and fulfilled for the response to HIV to be effective.
- Supportive frameworks of policy and law are essential to effective HIV response
The latest from the GCWA
6 Feb, 2012|
To access the document, click here/Чтобы получить доступ к документу нажмите здесь: Harm Reduction Brief (2012) Russian.pdf
9 Dec, 2011|
On International Human Rights Day 2011, the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (GCWA), a broad based coalition of civil society and United Nations partners committed to addressing HIV and women’s rights, calls on all stakeholders to join the movement for Zero Tolerance to Violence against Women and Girls. Violence against women and girls is both a cause and a consequence of HIV not only impeding effective HIV responses, but also constituting a gross human rights violation, thus further undermining the social fabric of communities.
7 Dec, 2011|
West and Central Africa: a 12-year-old girl acquires HIV through a blood transfusion. Her parents isolate her inside the house, pushing food to her on a stick. A decade later she is denied admission to university on the basis of her HIV status. In this young woman’s words: “I won’t sleep until young women living with HIV are given a voice and a platform to speak.” Southern and East Africa: a girl child is raped and acquires HIV. In her teens she develops a fistula. Doctors tell her it’s normal for a young woman living with HIV.
30 Nov, 2011|
28 Nov, 2011|
The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (GCWA), the International Network of Women who Use Drugs (INWUD), and the Women’s Harm Reduction International Network (WHRIN) are pleased to present a new issue brief regarding women who use drugs on HIV, harm reduction and sexual and reproductive health and rights.
7 Oct, 2011|
Launch of the Young Women's Leadership Initiative at the IAS
5 Oct, 2011|
19 Sep, 2011|
GCWA-ALN Global Plan Virtual Consultation
29 Aug, 2011|
Unzip the Lips is intended to offer a safe and inclusive space for dialogue. It is a platform being galvanised by The Coalition of Asia Pacific Regional Networks on HIV/AIDS (7Sisters) together with supporting partners and activists across the region to articulate the needs of key affected women and girls. To date, this is an informal discussion space with the support of several engaged institutions and individuals.
24 Aug, 2011|
What Works for Women and Girls: Evidence for HIV/AIDS Interventions, now available at www.whatworksforwomen.org, is a comprehensive review of successful HIV programming for women and girls spanning data from more than 2,000 scientific articles and reports in nearly 100 countries. Published by the Open Society Foundations’ Public Health Program, this valuable resource provides a centralized, searchable location for policymakers, donors, and program planners to review evidence of effective gender-specific programming. With scarce resources for HIV and AIDS programs—and a gro