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The Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS: from principle to practice? (PLA 58)

Guest editors: Tom Wakeford and Jasber Singh. To read the full table of contents please click on ‘More information’ above.

In 1994, at the Paris AIDS summit, 42 nations declared their support for the principle of Greater Involvement of People Living with or Affected by HIV and AIDS – which came known as the GIPA principle. Although these governments acknowledged that this principle is critical to ethical and effective national responses to the pandemic, the views and voices of HIV-positive people still tend to be overlooked or ignored. This paper recounts the experiences of the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW), the only international network of HIV positive women. Too many national governments, NGOs and civil society groups working on HIV continue to ignore, neglect or misrepresent the perspectives of HIV positive women, and to fail to recognise their diversity. ICW’s aim is to ensure that HIV positive women are meaningfully involved in making decisions that impact on their lives, and are working to support and empower women as activists and parliamentarians, so that their views and voices will be heard. At the same time, it is equally vital that those who are in positions of power learn to engage with HIV positive women, as equal partners, in ways that are inclusive and respectful.

Keywords: citizens juries, participatory budgeting, grassroots participation, gender, community activism.

Participatory Learning and Action (PLA, formerly PLA Notes) is the world's leading series on participatory learning and action approaches and methods. PLA publishes articles on participation aimed at practitioners, researchers, academics and activists. All articles are peer-reviewed by an international editorial board. See: www.planotes.org

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