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
22 Aug, 2011|
South Africa / women's sexual and reproducitve health and rights: HRW report:'Inhuman' treatment of women giving birth in South
Women giving birth in South Africa are pinched, slapped, ignored, called names, turned away from clinics and even forced to mop up their own blood, reports Human Rights Watch . South Africa has the best health facilities on the continent but its maternal mortality rate has quadrupled in the last decade, rising from 150 to 625 deaths per 100,000 live births between 1998 and 2007, according to government data cited by the rights group. The report said the abusive practices and substandard care meted out to women put their lives and those of their babies at risk.
8 Aug, 2011|
Trinidad & Tobago / women living with HIV: Mothers2Mothers Trinidad & Tobago lends support, spreads the word about HIV
When Lorna Hamilton-Henry speaks, people are drawn to listen. Her smile is warm and engaging and her friendly personality can win over just about anyone. But there’s something different about this mother of three, and it has nothing to do with the fact that she is HIV positive. It has to do with the fact that she’s overcome, in spite of. Living with the disease for the past ten years, she confesses, has been no easy feat. Through her recently established foundation, Mothers2Mothers T&T, Hamilton-Henry has dedicated her life to empowering and lending support to other HIV infected women.
5 Aug, 2011|
Tajikistan / Rights of women living with HIV: Building the leadership of Women living with HIV in Tajikistan
With the support of the NGO «Center on Mental Health and HIV/AIDS», the "Tajikistan Network of Women living with HIV" - TNW+ was born in 2010. The Tajikistan Network of Women living with HIV (TNW+) is the first and only national network of women living with HIV in the country.
27 Jul, 2011|
GCWA Pursuit of Justice Statement
27 Jul, 2011|
The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (GCWA) welcomes the recently released UN Women report 2011-2012 Progress of the World’s Women: In Pursuit of Justice. The report highlights that, despite some successes, every region of the world still has laws that discriminate against women. Women’s and girls’ access to justice is intrinsically linked to their ability to cope with the HIV pandemic as women and girls living with HIV are particularly affected by discriminatory laws and practices.
26 Jul, 2011|
GCWA at the International Women’s Summit 2011
26 Jul, 2011|
Global / women's rights and HIV: Report back on the GCWA session at the 2011 International Women's Summit
The report back from the GCWA activites at the 2011 International Women's Summit is now available on-line. Please click here to read the report: GCWA at the International Women’s Summit.pdf
20 Jul, 2011|
Global / HIV Prevention: Global coalition of women call for HIV prevention revolution for women and girls
At the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome, a global coalition of women representing international, national and local communities of people living with HIV/AIDS, HIV non-governmental organizations, and researchers identified recent developments as components of a potential HIV prevention revolution.
24 Jun, 2011|
JUNE 27: International Day of Peace Towards AIDS. Why June 27th? We need one day to resemble the world, the necessity to work together to stop AIDS. Peace is a powerful tool to face human rights violations, domestic violence, stigma and discrimination in the society, at work, and in every bond weakened by violence. It is thus, for ICW Global, a chance to face Aids. On June 27th, 10 years ago, the United Nations Declaration on AIDS (UNGASS) was held in New York, stating that HIV/AIDS should be considered a global emergency that requires immediate action.
8 Jun, 2011|
At the United Nations in New York, leader are gathering to chart the future of the global response to HIV.