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International Community of Women Living with HIV


The number of women living with HIV has increased over the last 10 years. Women comprise approximately 60% of all adults living with HIV in Africa. Especially in sub-Saharan Africa women are disproportionately impacted by the HIV epidemic. They often don’t have access to necessary health services. This problem is rooted in weak health care infrastructure, characterized by an insufficient number of health care providers (or poorly motivated and trained) and poor accountability mechanisms. In addition, critical issues such as inequality, gender-based and institutional violence and corruption complicate efforts to address these disparities.


Although HIV prevalence in Latin American and Caribbean countries is relatively low compared to the rates found in many parts of Africa, the number of people affected is still substantial. Most global regions have experienced declines in new HIV infections between 2001 and 2011, but the rate has remained constant in Latin America. Moreover, violence against women living with HIV in Latin America and the Caribbean is increasing women’s vulnerability to HIV. Many women don’t disclose their HIV status, don’t access health services or refrain from communication with relatives, partners and neighbors because they fear violence.

Global network run by and for women living with HIV

The International Community of Women living with HIV is the only global network run by and for women living with HIV. The regional member networks ICW Eastern Africa and ICW Latina were selected as grantees in 2012. ICW-Eastern Africa influences regional, national and international policies – related to HIV prevention programs – in favor of women living with HIV. ICW-Latina positively responds to the marginalized situation of women living with HIV by setting up programs that improve their sexual health and that address violations of human rights such as gender-based violence. Through regional peer-to-peer trainings they teach women to come up for their rights and to address sensitive topics.


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