Hivos website

Women, Human Rights and HIV

Women, Human Rights and HIV

Aim

To empower women living with HIV in Latin America to demand their right to access comprehensive HIV services that address their needs.

Where

Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru

Why

Women with HIV in Latin America face the burden of the disease in a context of gender inequality and violence against women, without being prioritized by the national responses to HIV, except during pregnancy to prevent vertical transmission.

How

Women with HIV are organized by ICW Latina to lobby and advocate for policy changes (pdf) necessary to create an enabling environment for themselves. They especially demand greater attention for their sexual and reproductive rights and for an end to violence and human rights violations against women with HIV. They work in alliance and coordination with other women’s organizations and networks, and define a political agenda to influence regional decision-making bodies. ICW Latina sets up empowerment groups of women with HIV and strengthens their technical, political and administrative knowledge and capacities. This helps women monitor services more systematically and gather information to feed their advocacy strategies.

Results achieved

The project gathered new evidence on the linkages between HIV, violence, age and ethnicity in women in Latin America. A regional legal and policy mapping website was launched in 18 countries to monitor legal frameworks on sexual and reproductive rights of women living with HIV and violence against women. The exercise formed the basis of ten national advocacy plans and a regional plan. These are now being implemented with promising results. Based on a common discourse on gender and human SRHR, ICW has been successful in advocating for the holistic needs of women with HIV in “new” regional and national spaces related to women’s rights (e.g. Grupo Impulsor del Consenso de Montevideo).

To enhance their communication and advocacy skills, the program developed an innovative method to train peer facilitators on SRHR, gender-based violence, and human rights. By the end of 2018, 124 women leaders were trained and 69 empowerment groups were established in various communities throughout the region. Hivos is now publishing a series of stories of what has changed and how the project contributed to that change. The first story looks at training for empowerment through theater.

Period and budget

2016-2018, US$ 4.3 million

Donor and partners

The International Community of Women with HIV (ICW Latina) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria