Declaration of Commitment to a Woman-centered Approach to HIV
We cannot put an end to HIV without prioritizing women. Women now account for more than half of the world’s population living with HIV, and HIV/AIDS is one of the leading causes of death for women of reproductive age (15-44). In the U.S., women now account for 25 percent of new HIV infections, and African American and Latina women are upwards of 30 times more likely to contract HIV than other women--but less than half (46 percent) of all countries allocate resources for the specific needs of women and girls in their national response to HIV. If we're going to beat HIV, that has to change. Sign the women's declaration and demand that world leaders pay attention to women.
HIV policy and programs must address women’s health and human rights to turn the tide against HIV. Sign the Women’s Declaration.
We are collecting both individual and organizational sign-ons for the Women's Declaration. If you would like to sign on as an individual please fill out the form below. If you would like to sign on your organization please email your full organization name and country to email@example.com.
1. Integrating HIV and sexual and reproductive health programs and services. Sexual transmission remains the leading cause of HIV infection. Despite this overlap of HIV/AIDS issues with reproductive health and rights, global approaches to HIV and AIDS continue to operate largely independently of other sexual and reproductive health programs. Integrated sexual and reproductive health services—comprehensive sexuality education; HIV prevention, treatment, care and support; cancer screening and treatment; maternal health care; family planning services; and safe abortion—are essential in the fight against the HIV pandemic. Women living with HIV need to have access to sexual and reproductive health services.
2. Adopting a human rights framework that encompasses all people, especially women and girls. As we continue the fight against the AIDS epidemic globally, our strategy for comprehensive, integrated programs must be grounded in human rights to ensure equal access to care that respects the integrity and autonomy of each person, regardless of income, race, ethnicity, gender, age, marital status, primary language, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, and disability. Integrated programming must recognize that women living with HIV have needs and desires, and rights to access integrated sexual and reproductive health services. Just as other women, they should have full access to modern contraception, emergency contraception, safe and legal abortion, the best available care for healthy pregnancies and healthy children, and a life free of violence.
3. Engaging the meaningful participation of civil society, especially women’s groups, human rights groups, and women living with HIV, in decision making processes. Governments and donors should actively seek civil society participation in policy and program decision making. Community-based and non-governmental organizations, including organizations of women living with HIV, offer valuable insights, resources, and gateways to populations most at risk of HIV, while helping to address social and cultural barriers to accessing care.
4. Expanding access to female condoms by dramatically increasing funding for their purchase, distribution, and program support at the country level. Female condoms are the only HIV/STI and pregnancy prevention tool available for use today that is designed to be initiated by women. It is critical that governments and donors make coordinated, robust investments across procurement, distribution, marketing, and program support.
5. Investing in research, development, and market introduction of woman-initiated and controlled HIV/STI and pregnancy prevention methods, such as additional female condom products, microbicides, and vaccines. Adding new safe and effective woman-controlled prevention products offers women, men, and young people increased ability to protect themselves consistent with their preferences. Governments and donors must scale up investment in research and development of woman-initiated prevention technologies such as microbicides and vaccines. At the same time, they must not overlook the importance of supporting market development and programming of technologies such as female and male condoms—tools that offer proven protection but are still not widely accessible for those most in need.