XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Improving joint advocacy between sexual rights and HIV/AIDS movements

M.B. Bianco

Strategies from the South; International AIDS Women Caucus -IAWC-; Fundacion para Estudio e Investigacion de la Mujer -FEIM-, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Issues: Traditionally the Sexual and Reproductive Rights (SRR) movement and especially women's and youth activists have not been associated with the AIDS movements. They develop their advocacy separately rather than together, which has made their efforts less effective.
Description: Based on the hypothesis that joint advocacy will improve results, in 2006 a project began in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. It brings together international and regional networks from the Sexual Rights movement, including Human Rights and women's and youth activist networks, and the HIV/AIDS movement: PLWHA, LGBTT, sex workers and people who use drugs. These diverse networks initiated discussions -face-to-face and virtually- to identify consensuses and differences on key issues concerning Sexual Rights and HIV/AIDS. The consensus reached allowed members of 42 networks to define an agenda for joint advocacy and develop actions together to strengthen their demands and improve their impact on sexual rights regionally and internationally.
Lessons learned: The members learned that consensus could be built, recognizing their differences without letting this set them against each other. Members were taught to better understand each other's interests and look for ways to put their interests together in order to make them stronger and make their advocacy more effective. Cultural and religious issues affecting the responses to the epidemic were addressed. They applied these strategies in UNGASS 2008 and at the United Nations Commission on Population and Development (CPD) in 2009. The joint advocacy improved the acceptance of the ICPD Program of Action as it is needed to help achieve Universal Access to HIV/AIDS. A review of the principal lessons learned will be presented.
Next steps: The 42 networks will broaden their experience of cross-movement collaboration and joint advocacy, incorporating the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) to be reviewed in 2010 and integrating other development and social movements.

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