This report summarizes discussion from two international electronic fora in which advocates, service providers, and HIV-positive women discussed services and policies related to the sexual and reproductive health of HIV-positive women. While the discussions spanned numerous countries and cultures, common threads appeared regardless of the geographical or cultural context. These threads provide lessons for all advocates seeking to promote the well-being of HIV-positive women. Issues such as confidentiality, domestic abuse, and reproductive rights were discussed, with the overarching issue being the high degree of stigma and discrimination experienced by HIV-positive women. Most strikingly, the discussions revealed widespread violations of the human rights of HIV-positive women as a result of the stigma and discrimination that they faced. These violations provided a backdrop to virtually all other topics discussed, creating major obstacles to the attainment of appropriate care and services by HIV-positive women. Another major theme was the lack of the most basic services responsive to the needs of HIV-positive women. Women described significant barriers at the domestic, community, regional and national level in realizing their rights and sexual and reproductive health. Among those mentioned included: inaccessibility of health centers; lack of respect for female patients' rights and judgmental attitudes among health care workers. The report is published by EngenderHealth, Harvard University, International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS, Ipas, and the United Nations Population Fund.
The Center for HIV Law and Policy challenges barriers to the rights and health of people affected by HIV through legal advocacy, high-impact policy initiatives, and creation of cross-issue partnerships, networks and resources. We support movement building that amplifies the power of individuals and communities to mobilize for change that is rooted in racial, gender and economic justice.