More resources and funds for the organisations of women living with HIV !

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The undersigned organizations and individuals call for more funds for the organizations of women living with HIV.

Women represent more than half of all adults living with HIV in the world, 46% of the new HIV infections in adults globally were among women and new infections among young women (aged 15–24 years) were 55% higher than among men in the same age group. Every week, around 6200 young women aged 15–24 years become infected with HIV. [1],[2].

There are significant regional differences in both the new HIV infections among women and in the proportion of women living with HIV (15 and older) as opposed to men, but they comprise more than one third in all regions.1,2  Also more than one third (35%) of women around the world have experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some time in their lives.[3]

Gender inequalities are closely related to exposure to HIV and combined with biological susceptibility, gender violence, cultural norms, low economic power exacerbate the risk of HIV infection, influence the risk behaviour, sexual expression, the incorporation of preventive information[4] and worsen health outcomes.

Women living with HIV may face a variety of challenges including, but not limited to:

  •  Violence, poverty, human trafficking, forced prostitution and increased vulnerability to HIV and AIDS,[5]
  • Often deal with stigma and fear of disclosure as well as poor access to health education5.
  • There are continuing barriers to health and human rights. Significant biomedical advances have been made, but the ineligibility of women with HIV in public and private funding poses new challenges for an effective response to HIV / AIDS. In addition, while biomedical interventions are important, behavioral, social and political interventions are essential to ensure that affected communities have the knowledge and ability to protect themselves.

Ending AIDS requires that we address girls and women’s by putting them at the centre of the response. Requires the Meaningful Involvement of Women with HIV/AIDS. Requires the empowerment of organisations of women living with HIV to deal with issues concerned to us. Requires the empowerment of women and girls.

But evidence suggests that women and girl’s participation in national HIV planning processes is declining globally. In 2012, UNAIDS reported that 61% of women living with HIV participated in formal planning and review mechanisms where they are present, down from 66% in 2010.[6] Women living with HIV need to be included.

Women living with HIV face a number of barriers to meaningful participation in HIV policy and decision-making. These include stigma and discrimination, economic insecurity, and a lack of access to information and resources, as well as insufficient opportunities for training and support.[7] There are also few institutional mechanisms to ensure women’s leadership or inclusion in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the HIV response. Even where opportunities exist, organisational and resource constraints hinder the participation of women living with HIV.[8]

One of the major constraints is the underfunding of Women’s organisations. “For the first time, the global resources available for the AIDS response declined significantly, by nearly US$ 1 billion.”[9] And in Europe, overall financing for civil society activity is reducing, which is also a major concern.[10] A greater concern for organisations of women who are the most affected. A research by the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) found that, while women and girls are recognised as key agents in development, a large majority of women’s organisations are underfunded. In 2010, the average income of over 740 women’s organisations around the world was just US$20,000.[11]

Therefore, we urge to address the urgent needs of women and organizations of women living with HIV. We call to:

  • Create funds directed to organizations of women living with HIV.
    Create funds directed to women living with HIV’ programs and projects.
  • Promote and protect the Meaningful Involvement of Women Living with HIV.
  • Promote further political awareness around the specific challenges faced by women living with HIV;
  • Respect, protect and promote human rights and gender equality;
  • Consider women as a priority group with a focus in our multiple vulnerabilities;
  • Promote awareness and knowledge around women and HIV in all our cycle of life;
  • The inclusion of women and gender issues including gender-based violence, with adequate funding, in all plans and national programs for HIV/AIDS;
  • The inclusion of, and adequate funding for, SRH and HIV literacy and peer projets in all national HIV programs;
  • Increase awareness and engagement towards the challenge of HIV discrimination in a gender perspective;
  • Engage in a dialogue with women’s support groups so as to identify, together, concrete policy measures addressing these issues;
  • Endorse and scale up the implementation of equitable and inclusive policy measures that increase women’s chances for better health outcomes, improved access to tailored care including HIV and AIDS prevention, testing and counseling;
  • Include women in all measures and policy making related to HIV;
  • Put an end to funding according to organizations budget, a requirement of pharma and private sector that cannot be considered as fair social responsibility as organizations that most need are left behind.
  • We demand the meaningful involvement of women living with HIV in the global AIDS response! 

Yours sincerely,

Seres (con) viver com o VIH

International Community of Women Living with HIV





[4] Nunes, I. (2008). Quality of Life in HIV positive Women: self-esteem, body image and social relations. Master Thesis. University of Coimbra.
[5] World Health Organization: “Gender, women and health.” Disponível em:
[6] UN Women (2015) ‘Championing Gender Equality in the HIV Response: The experiences of five programme countries’[pdf]
[7] UN Women (2010) ‘Transforming the National AIDS Response: Advancing Women’s Leadership and Participation’[pdf]
[8] UNAIDS (2013) ‘Performance Monitoring Report’ UNAIDS/PCB (32)/13.5[pdf]
[9] Available at

[10] Civil Society Europe/Civicus (2016) ‘Civic Space in Europe: 2016 Survey’ [pdf]