Today, organisations of people living with HIV are a key driving force in the response to HIV/AIDS, giving a personal power to people living positively with the virus, and inspiring others to action. In this section, you will find more information about PLHIV campaigns and activities.
PLHIV are activists, informed patients, care givers, educators, researchers, policy makers, and health care providers. They ask questions, and do not rest before they have an answer or a solution to their challenges. PLHIV are leaders in stopping HIV and show visionary leadership in implementing and supporting prevention, treatment and care.
However, this leadership has not come easy. At the beginning of the epidemic at the Denver AIDS Conference in 1983 people living with HIV had to storm the stage to be heard. The Denver conference signalled the birth of the PLHIV movement, and first articulated the GIPA principle. People living with HIV and AIDS demanded the right to be involved in every level of decision making affecting their lives, and to determine their own agenda. These rights are as valid now as they were then.
Why is positive leadership important?
Networks of people living with HIV/AIDS have been harnessing the leadership of PLHIV for over twenty years.
Over that time global networks have organised eleven international PLHIV conferences. Women living with HIV have made the needs and challenges visible of children, mothers and grandmothers living with and affected by HIV.
Networks of PLHIV have been leaders in setting up The Global Fund against AIDS, TB and Malaria and have ensured the involvement of PLHIV is anchored in The Global fund mechanisms on global as well as national level.
PLHIV and their supporters have lead advocacy efforts with governments all over the world for faster and increased access to essential treatment. And in many places succeeded.
Nevertheless, PLHIV still struggle to remain in control over their own lives. International political leaders have been – at best – inconsistent in recognising the importance of leadership and involvement of PLHIV. On a global scale public health initiatives rarely are designed together with people living with HIV or with the interest of PLHIV in mind. Instead recent policies around testing, prevention, breast feeding and access to safe abortions are little more but virus containment strategies, which ultimately will be ineffective without PLHIV involvement.
It is essential that global leaders fully recognise the value of involving PLHIV. Without the leadership of PLHIV, universal access to prevention, treatment and care will remain a dream. Without the leadership of people living with HIV stigma and discrimination of PLHIV will prevail and human rights violations against people living with HIV will continue. And without an open environment for all people living with HIV the uptake of testing and prevention measures will lag behind, and the HIV epidemic will not be halted.
Within this section you will find press releases, statements and announcements.
Within this section you will find resources that you can use within your campaigns created by and for positive networks and organisations.
In this section you will find links to news articles, blogs and other information sources.