We are excited to announce the launch of the Last Mile Grant, supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Love Alliance. This grant aims to promote people living with HIV (PLHIV) networks to lead and advocate for improved treatment access.  

 The grant encompasses two distinct yet interconnected streams: the Children of Structurally Silenced Women stream grants will support women-led advocacy for women and children mothered or cared by women living with HIV. This stream will also gather vital evidence to uncover the barriers preventing women living with HIV who are sex workers and mothers under 24 years access to reliable information and services for preventing vertical transmission during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Such evidence will be collected through community-led participatory action research conducted in 5 countries and gathered in a global report. Both evidence-gathering and advocacy work will be developed in collaboration with Kenya Sex Workers Association (KESWA), Mothers for the Future, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Rosa in two Northern African countries, and Association of Women Living with HIV/AIDS.

The Treatment Access for Advanced AIDS Disease stream will collaborate with national networks of People Living with HIV organizations,  NEPHAK – Kenya, ZNNP+ – Zimbabwe, NEPWHAN – Nigeria, and HEPS – Uganda to galvanize community treatment awareness, literacy, and advocacy to motivate treatment uptake, adherence and retention, early diagnosis and treatment of advanced HIV Disease/AIDS and empower communities to benefit from the HIV science of Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U). 

We are excited to grow our community participatory grantmaking initiative that embodies our core values. GNP+ champions the rights and leadership of all people living with HIV grounded in the Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV (GIPA) principles, we prioritise community needs and ensure transparency in our decisions. Our approach is inclusive, recognising the unique challenges faced by different subgroups.  

The Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) welcomes Congress’ decision on the re-authorisation of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) for one year. The impact of PEPFAR on the lives of people living with HIV across the world is unparalleled.  

Although, this extension offers a temporary reprieve, it falls demonstrably short of what is necessary to effectively sustain the gains made in the HIV response. In 2022 alone, an estimated 1.3 million people contracted HIV globally. Moreover, over nine million people living with HIV currently lack access to life-saving treatment, leaving them vulnerable to serious illness and death. Ending AIDS is a critical public health imperative, not simply a matter of statistics. 

A one-year extension introduces unnecessary uncertainty, preventing long-term planning and potentially jeopardizing the considerable progress already achieved. GNP+ urges a multi-year re-authorisation to provide stability and facilitate a more strategic and effective response to the HIV epidemic. 

“Faced with the reality of 1.3 million new HIV infections globally in 2022 alone, millions remain without access to treatment,” stated Florence Riako Anam, GNP+ Co-Executive Director. “Continued funding for PEPFAR is not merely a priority, it is a matter of life and death. GNP+ passionately believes in the power of sustained action. HIV will not wait for a one-year pause; we need a long-term commitment to save lives and ensure a lasting response to the epidemic.” 

GNP+ urges for a multi-year PEPFAR re-authorisation bill. Prioritising evidence-based policy, ensuring equitable access to care, and guaranteeing continued United States leadership in the global HIV response are essential. The lives of millions depend on it. 

Pepfar graphic
Source: PEPFAR

The Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) are delighted to announce the appointment of Keenen Dongor as the Executive and Operations Manager.

Keenen has held various positions at GNP+ in the admin and operations department. He brings a wealth of experience and expertise to support the Co-Executive Directors and to ensure that the operations of GNP+ are effective in achieving the GNP+ mission and vision.

Keenen’s responsibilities will encompass a diverse range of critical functions, including providing essential administrative and operational support to the Co-Executive Directors; overseeing the day-to-day operations of our offices in Amsterdam and Cape Town, ensuring optimal functionality in support of our global initiatives.

As a cornerstone member of the Operations team, Keenen will report directly to the Co-Executive Directors and become an esteemed member of the Senior Management Team.

Sbongile Nkosi, Co-Executive Director, expressed her enthusiasm stating,We are proud of moving Keenen to this role and strongly believe his strategic acumen and adept leadership will undoubtedly contribute to the organisation’s continued success. We are confident that his leadership will be instrumental in propelling GNP+ forward and achieving our ambitious goals.”

His meticulous attention to detail will guarantee GNP+ remains fully compliant with relevant regulations and maintains its non-profit status.

Keenen Dongor echoes our sentiment, stating, “I am honored to join GNP+ and contribute to its mission of making a tangible difference in the lives of people living with HIV. I look forward to leveraging my expertise and passion to drive operational excellence and support the organisation’s strategic priorities.”

We warmly welcome Keenen to GNP+ and look forward to his leadership’s impact. His dedication, commitment to excellence, and expertise will be indispensable as we work towards the health and rights of all people living with and affected by HIV. Please join us in congratulating Keenen Dongor on his new role and in extending our full support as he embarks on this exciting journey with us.

The Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) proudly marks the 10th year anniversary of the Zero Discrimination Day, observed annually on March 1st. We note with concern however that on the eve of this day, our brothers and sisters in Ghana potentially face barriers to accessing HIV prevention and treatment interventions due to the unfavourable legal landscape set by the parliament’s decision to pass laws against LGBTQ persons.  

Despite remarkable progress in raising awareness and education around HIV transmission and care, discrimination against all people living with HIV and particularly key populations persists. Men who have sex with men, transgender and gender diverse people, sex workers, and people who inject drugs, are disproportionately impacted by discriminatory laws and policies. They frequently face harassment, violence, and arrest simply due to their identities, further marginalising them and hindering their access to crucial HIV prevention and care services. 

This discrimination manifests in various forms, including economic and social exclusion, denial of rights & healthcare access, workplace prejudice, and systemic inequalities. The steadfast rising of the anti-rights movement impacts the regress in laws as seen in countries like Uganda and Ghana and undermines our collective efforts in treatment access for all people living and prevention interventions for people most impacted by HIV. Discriminatory practices undermine our shared goal of ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.  

GNP+ Global Partnership & HJWW Manager Daughtie Ogutu says, “Our progress towards reaching the goal on stigma and discrimination is inseparable from the eradication of discriminatory laws, policies, and practices that impede access to crucial HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and care. The global pushback against women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, and other fundamental freedoms not only undermines individual liberty but also jeopardizes public health especially for people living with and mostly affected with HIV.” 

Established by UNAIDS 10 Years ago, Zero Discrimination Day serves as a powerful symbol of hope, advocating for the worldwide to end discrimination. Under the theme “Protect Everyone’s Health, Protect Everyone’s Rights,” we emphasise the fundamental rights inherent to everyone, regardless of health status, and the imperative to dismantle the stigma surrounding HIV. 

GNP+ provides global leadership and advocates for improvements to the quality of life for all people living with HIV. We actively foster the participation and leadership of people living with HIV throughout the HIV response through our work on the Stigma Index and Global Partnership for Action to Eliminate all forms of HIV-related Stigma and Discrimination It is our mission to ensure that the voices of people living with HIV are central to decision-making and policy formation. 

Data from the GNP+ PLHIV Stigma Index 2.0 Global Report 2023 shows the persistent barriers related to Stigma and Discrimination experienced by people living with HIV including key population living with HIV in the healthcare setting. The report covered 25 countries and 30,751 participants.  

The Global Report revealed that, “Overall, 7.8% of respondents were ever forced to get tested for HIV or disclose their HIV status for one or more of five reasons, and 3.6% experienced this during the past 12 months of conducting the study. More specifically, 1333 respondents (4.7%) were forced to get tested for HIV or disclose their status to gain access to health care services, and 640 respondents (2.2%) experienced this within the last 12 months.”  

“In addition, 1 in 8 (13.0%) faced HIV-related stigma and discrimination from staff working where they received their HIV care during the last 12 months. This was almost double (24.9%) when seeking care for non-HIV-related health needs, and even higher for transgender people (31.7%), sex workers (29.5%) and people who use drugs (27.8%).” 

GNP+ is community-led and guided by the rights and realities of people living with HIV. We are inclusive, and we embrace and defend diversity. We recognise that the issues that affect us as people living with HIV in all our beautiful diversity often intersect with other aspects of our identities and our differing access to power and resources. 

In solidarity with communities worldwide, we are vigorously ‘pushing back against the pushback,’ urging world leaders to honor their commitments to uphold the rights of all individuals. This entails the repealing of discriminatory laws and policies, the decriminalisation of HIV transmission, sex work, drug use, same-sex relations, and the guarantee of equitable access to healthcare services for all. 

“Zero Discrimination Day is not just about words; it is about action. It embodies the principle that every person, irrespective of their HIV status, deserves to be treated with dignity, respect, and equality”, aptly states GNP+ Stigma Index Manager, Omar Syarif. 

As we mark the 10th anniversary of Zero Discrimination Day on March 1st and throughout the month, we emphasise the vital importance of protecting everyone’s health by safeguarding everyone’s rights. It is a collective responsibility, and together, we can achieve an AIDS-free world founded on principles of equality and justice. 

This year, on February 28th, the HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE coalition commemorate HIV is Not A Crime Awareness Day as a Global Awareness Day for the first time, under the theme: “You care about ending HIV criminalisation, you just don’t know it yet”. We invite you to stand with us in solidarity and action as we strive to eliminate the unjust criminalisation of people based on their HIV-positive status.

HIV Is Not A Crime Awareness Day was launched in the United States two years ago by HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE founding partner, the SERO Project, in collaboration with the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, and has grown in size and prominence ever since.

HIV criminalisation laws and prosecutions persist in many parts of the world[i], perpetuating stigma, discrimination, and human rights violations against people living with HIV. These laws reinforce misconceptions, fuel fear and prejudice instead of fostering empathy and understanding. They undermine public health efforts by deterring people living with HIV from seeking testing, treatment, and support, ultimately hindering progress in HIV prevention and care and reaching targets set to end AIDS by 2030.

The impact of HIV criminalisation extends beyond legal consequences, affecting the social, economic, and emotional well-being of those affected. It breeds shame and secrecy, hindering open communication about HIV and perpetuating a cycle of silence and isolation. HIV criminalisation disproportionately impacts marginalised communities most affected by HIV, exacerbating existing inequalities and injustices as seen in recent years.

We believe that everyone has a role to play in ending HIV criminalisation, marked by our theme this year : “You care about ending HIV criminalisation, you just don’t know it yet,”. We as the HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE coalition partners are raising awareness, challenging stigma, and advocating for policy reform and HIV decriminalisation. We want to create a more just and compassionate society for all. It begins with education, empathy, and a commitment to upholding the rights and dignity of every individual, regardless of their HIV status. It’s time for change. It’s time to dismantle the legal barriers that perpetuate stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV. It’s time to shift the narrative from fear and punishment to compassion and support. It’s time to recognise that HIV criminalisation not only affects individuals but also our communities, as it undermines public health efforts and human rights principles.

On this HIV Is Not A Crime Awareness Day, we call upon governments, policymakers, advocates, healthcare providers, and communities worldwide to take action:

  • Reform Legal Frameworks: Advocate for the repeal or reform of laws and policies that criminalise HIV non-disclosure, exposure or non-intentional transmission. Replace punitive measures with evidence-based approaches grounded in public health and human rights.
  • Promote Education and Awareness: Raise awareness about the impact of HIV criminalisation on individuals, families, and communities. Foster empathy, understanding, and support for people living with HIV.
  • Ensure Access to Justice: Ensure that individuals living with HIV have access to legal support and representation to challenge unjust prosecutions and discriminatory practices.
  • Foster Inclusive Policies: Advocate for policies that promote inclusivity, dignity, and respect for the rights of people living with HIV, including access to comprehensive healthcare, prevention, and support services.
  • Empower Communities: Empower communities affected by HIV to advocate for their rights, including for HIV decriminalisation, challenge criminal laws and policies and demand accountability from policymakers and institutions.

Together, we can create a future where no one faces criminal legal system discrimination or prosecution simply because they are living with HIV.

Join us in saying no to HIV criminalisation and yes to justice, compassion, and solidarity. #HINACDay 2024.

Statement from the HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE coalition. We are global coalition of community-led global and regional networks and human rights defenders working to shape the discourse on HIV criminalisation, as well as share information and resources, network, build capacity, mobilise advocacy, and cultivate a community of transparency and collaboration.

The coalition is comprised of fourteen networks and organisations. It was founded in 2016 by: the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA), The Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+), HIV Justice Network (HJN), The HIV Legal Network (Legal Network), International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW Global), Positive Women’s Network (PWN-USA), and the Sero Project (Sero).

A further seven partners have since joined the coalition: AIDS Action Europe (AAE), Eurasian Women’s Network on AIDS (EWNA), Harm Reduction International (HRI), MENA Community, Global Action for Gay Men’s Health and Rights (MPact), Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) and the Global Network of Young People Living with HIV (Y+ Global).

The learn more about the HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE coalition please visit: www.hivjusticeworldwide.org

[i] The HIV Justice Network’s Global HIV Criminalisation Database counts 109 jurisdictions in 80 countries with HIV-specific criminal laws, including 23 jurisdictions in the United States, two in Mexico, and three in Nigeria, together with a federal HIV law in each country. The Database includes individual case reports of HIV criminalisation in 161 jurisdictions in 90 countries since we began monitoring HIV cases. These include cases in all eight Australian states, eight provinces and territories in Canada, seven Mexican states, two Nigerian states, 42 jurisdictions in the United States, and all four nations of the United Kingdom. We consider 89 jurisdictions in 52 countries to be ‘active’ – those which have enforced relevant laws in the past five years. A total of 39 of these jurisdictions have HIV-specific laws in place, while 50 jurisdictions applied general criminal laws, such as communicable disease or general harm provisions, to instances of alleged HIV non-disclosure, potential or perceived exposure, or non-intentional transmission.

World, join us to welcome Nathaniel Miller-Walraven as our Head of Programmes. Nathaniel will work closely with the Co-Executive Directors and lead the GNP+ programmes team, to implement robust community-led programmes that feed GNP+’s advocacy grounded in the lived experiences and realities of all people living with HIV and communities.  

As a gay man living with HIV, Nathaniel made an active decision to shift his professional focus to working with and for the global HIV community when he was diagnosed with HIV before he turned 30.

“I had had enough of stigma, depression, and anxiety. I was done with the negativity that I was putting upon myself because of this diagnosis. In that moment of recognition, I made a conscious choice to turn this into something positive, to find a safe place where I could be myself and contextualise HIV.”

Nathaniel joins GNP+ after seven years of service at the Robert Carr Fund (RCF), where he managed three million USD annually to strengthen national, regional, and global networks and community-led organizations through participatory grant-making. He worked with over 80 partners from Africa, Middle East and North Africa, and Asia Pacific regions. The core funding from this work enables communities shape policies and programs for improved HIV and sexual reproductive health services for inadequately served populations.

According to Nathaniel, “It’s not just about ‘bringing people to the table.’ It’s about ensuring that the table is set with everything that communities need, so that they have full ownership of the process.” His work at RCF has provided him with unique exposure and education in the field of human rights and HIV in the not-for-profit sector, engaging with regional and global community-led, community-serving networks and organisations around the world.

Nathaniel is very conscious of different aspects of privilege and is deeply committed to deconstructing colonialist legacies and challenging patriarchal systems. This applies both to ways of working and to language. He recognises that such mindset shifts call for significant dedication, time, transparency, and accountability from all parties. “To be both responsible and responsive, we have to build trust.”

Co-Executive Director Florence Riako Anam notes, “Nathaniel brings both lived experience and shared core values to our work. His extensive engagement with donors, ministries, grantees and other stakeholders on risk management, compliance, strategy, and relationship management will immensely benefit GNP+. His commitment to participatory grant-making and challenging systemic inequities aligns perfectly with our mission and values, ensuring that our efforts advance the health and rights of all people living with HIV worldwide.”

Nathaniel will be based at the GNP+ Amsterdam office, kicking off with an induction at the Cape Town Office for the first half of March. He is looking forward to the challenges that his new role will bring, as well as fresh opportunities to contribute to empowering the global HIV community.

“I approach this work to serve as well as to lead, to uphold the human rights and access to services of all people living with HIV, with the knowledge of the strength we have when we work collectively.”

We extend the warmest of welcomes to Nathaniel as he joins the GNP+ family.

Are you a young person living with HIV or a member of a key-population community who is passionate about making a difference in your community? Are you actively engaged in national or regional advocacy? Do you feel ready to voice the needs of young people in global advocacy spaces? Join our elite squad of advocates to bring change to young people in all their diversity!

The Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) and the Global Network of Young People Living with HIV (Y+ Global) are inviting young advocates across the globe to apply for our joint Young Emerging Leaders Programme (YEL), a leadership development programme which will build an elite squad of young advocates to engage and influence global policy and health governance spaces. The Young Emerging Leaders Programme (YEL) will strengthen the representation of young people on global platforms, such as the United Nations General Assembly, the World Health Organization and the Global Fund.

GNP+ and Y+ Global will recruit 15 YEL advocates focused on HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) issues.

Who are we looking for?

  • Young people living with HIV (preferably openly) or young Key-Populations: sex workers, LGBTQIA+people, people who use drugs;
  • Must be between the ages 18 to 25 years old;
  • Show willingness, commitment, and availability to engage in the programme learning and advocacy activities until December 2024, this includes at least 2 virtual trainings/meetings per month;
  • Be willing to publicly represent their communities (existing social media presence as an advocate or being an influencer in HIV and SRHR issues will be valued);
  • Experience in advocating and engaging with key stakeholders/decision makers at national level; initial engagement with global platforms is strongly desirable;
  • Commitment to human rights principles, non-discriminatory and inclusive approaches;
  • Have an excellence driven, creative and proactive approach to work;
  • Passion and knowledge about HIV and SRHR related activism.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Experience in implementing advocacy and movement-building projects;
  • Attachment/connection or link with a Y+ Global country offices, if existing, or with Key Population-led organizations and PLHIV networks where Y+ doesn’t have an office. These organizations must provide a letter of recommendation describing the candidate’s skills and experience.

Required Skills

  • Good English reading and speaking levels are preferred. Arabic, French and Portuguese speakers are also encouraged to apply, as translation support will be provided for these languages;
  • Ability and experience in mobilizing and recruiting a critical mass of young advocates for community events, campaigns and meetings;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Basic computer or information technology (IT) skills – particularly Google Drive, Microsoft Word, email, social media and access to the internet.

Application Process

Please fill up the application form and submit your CV by 8 March 2024.

The Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) is thrilled to announce the appointment of Alexandra Volgina (Sasha) as the GNP+ Community, Networks, and Partnerships Manager starting February 1, 2024. Sasha will be responsible for growing and strengthening our relationships, collaborations, and engagement with communities of people living with HIV, the Key Populations networks, our peers, and fellow activists as well as partners in the HIV response and movement.

This role reflects GNP+’s commitment to our values to strengthen inclusive and accountable community leadership that actively fosters our vibrant participation and powerful voice in shaping the HIV response. Unified advocacy and strong leadership by people living with HIV are essential for achieving the goal of Ending AIDS and sustaining an equitable HIV response beyond 2030. Such work is ever more important in a context of growing threats from anti-rights movements, shrinking civic space, the impact of climate change and increasing inequalities globally.

Sasha has over 20 years of dedicated service to the People Living with HIV (PLHIV) community and has extensive experience in representing PLHIV in global and regional decision-making platforms, including the NGO Delegation to the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board, Communities Delegations of the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, communities delegation to the UNITAID board and member of the Medicines Patent Pool. In the past two years, she has also led GNP+ engagement and support to PLHIV networks in Ukraine.

“Sasha’s dedication and wealth of experience make her an invaluable asset to our organisation. At GNP+, we look forward to growing and strengthening our engagement and accountability to our peers, networks and partners and Sasha is the best person to help us get this done. We are excited for the opportunities ahead.” – GNP+ Co-Executive Director, Florence Riako Anam.

Join us all in welcoming Sasha to this role!

As we commemorate World AIDS Day, a coalition that so far includes: the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW), the  Global Network of Young People Living with HIV (Y+ Global), the HIV Justice Network (HJN), AIDS Action Europe (AAE), and the European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG) are delighted to announce our plans to host the People Living with HIV Pre-conference at AIDS2024. Living 2024 is planned for 20th and 21st July 2024 ahead of the AIDS2024 conference in Munich. 

Looking back to 1983, when the very first gathering of people living with HIV developed the Denver Principles, setting the path to the greater involvement, engagement and leadership of people living with HIV in the AIDS response, we are committed to sustain that legacy and make Living 2024 a platform for people living with HIV and our close allies and partners to connect, and  strengthen global solidarity for community leadership in the AIDS response. 

Living 2024 will be organised under the theme, ‘‘Communities leading: advancing health, dignity, equity”.

This is the first time since 2016 that the global community of people living with HIV in all our diversities, will meet in person to reflect on the multiple socio-political challenges faced by people living with HIV that continue to limit the civic space needed for our advocacy, as well as the inequalities that fuel stigma, discrimination and criminalisation. We plan to  build power together and identify opportunities to strengthen access to affordable and optimised treatment and diagnostics including for addressing the unique challenges of ageing with HIV. Living 2024, is also an opportunity for people living with HIV and affected communities to come together to reflect, re-imagine and define the future of the HIV movement, as well as  our place within the broader global health and development platforms in shaping the HIV sustainability plans beyond 2030. 

The organisers of Living 2024 call on countries and decision-makers to refocus, recommit, and ensure that communities lead. AIDS isn’t over, our lives and dignity are still under threat, and stigma, discrimination and criminalisation still prevent us from fully benefiting from the remarkable progress of HIV science.  As we prepare for this crucial convening, we invite other networks, communities, partners, and potential funders to join us in making this event successful and historic. In the coming weeks, we will share more details. For any inquiries please reach out to us on email: living2024@gnpplus.net

The 22nd edition of the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA 2023) will take place from 4-9 December 2023, in Harare, Zimbabwe. ICASA is one of the largest HIV Conferences in Africa, held every two years, the conference brings together researchers, partners, activists, and community leaders dedicated to ending AIDS by 2030.  

During ICASA week, we will be taking part in different pre-conferences including the Key Populations pre-conference themed: Human Rights, Criminalisation, Decriminalisation: The Case for Africa. We are also leading several satellite sessions and side events. At this conference, we will also be launching the first ever People Living with HIV Stigma Index 2.0 Global Report 2023, a research document that we are proud of, as it’s a demonstration of community leadership.

Below you will find a detailed roadmap of important events we are participating at that you can join, and you can also have an opportunity to connect with us at the Community Networking Zone.

We look forward to seeing you there!

GNP+ ICASA 2023 Roadmap

ICASA 2023 Roadmap GNP F 1

Download our Roadmap here

The International AIDS Society this week announced the theme of the 25th International AIDS Conference, and The Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) is ecstatic! 

The theme “Put People First!,” deeply connects with our core values and mission, and passionately believe that it holds immense respect for the role of people living with HIV, Key and Vulnerable Populations in advancing the global response.  

“Put people first is not just a slogan; it is a fundamental principle that should guide every aspect of the conference and be part of our daily work all over the world,” says Florence Riako Anam, GNP+ Co-Executive Director.  

As representatives of people living with HIV, we are looking forward to witnessing this theme translate into concrete actions and outcomes that will significantly benefit our community in meaningful ways. One pivotal aspect of putting people first is ensuring comprehensive representation. We ask for an intersectional gender representation of our communities at the conference, including in speaking slots and oral presentation. Putting us first means giving space to our powerful voices.  

Scholarships and accessibility are also of paramount importance in removing barriers for the most marginalised and underprivileged members of our community and enabling their participation. 

We appreciate the acknowledgement of the need for ease in visa application and approval. Travel restrictions and visa issues have, in many instances, hindered the participation of community members from countries heavily affected by HIV. We hope to see concrete measures taken to simplify and expedite the visa process, ensuring that attendees can reach the conference without unnecessary obstacles. 

GNP+, looks forward to working with you to demonstrate our community leadership in actualising the theme of “Put People First!”, and elevate the standard for inclusivity, representation, and active engagement of people living with and affected by HIV in the AIDS response.

It’s time to say a bittersweet farewell to Georgina Caswell, who has been GNP+’s Head of Programmes for the past four years, as she leaves for a new role as a Technical Advisor at the Global Fund focusing on grant investment support for high impact countries in West and Central Africa.

Georgina’s work has always been deeply grounded in a belief that people living with HIV have a crucial role in leading, defining and shaping the HIV response. 

This wasn’t Georgina’s first time working at GNP+, having previously served as a programme manager between 2008 – 2013 where she supported networks of people living with HIV to build their research and advocacy skills to access prevention and treatment information and services.  

When she took up the Head of Programmes position in October 2019, she told us it was like coming home. She brought not only her extensive programming and implementation experience but also her deep passion for social justice, sexual and reproductive health and rights, youth leadership and gender equality.

Thank you, Georgina, for the solid foundation you have set and for your contribution to GNP+’s transformation and growth. The team will miss your positive energy and radiant smile, as much as your commitment to communities and technical leadership. 

Wishing you every success in your new role!

GNP+ is excited to introduce our new Board members! Susan Cole (United Kingdom), Miguel Ángel López (Colombia) and Yuri Yoursky (Estonia), each bringing a wealth of experience and dedication to the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+). Their diverse backgrounds and unwavering commitment to people living with HIV and the HIV movement make them valuable additions to our team.

Susan Cole is a renowned HIV activist, broadcaster, writer, and public speaker with over two decades of advocacy for people living with HIV. She leads community engagement and broadcasting activities at NAM Aidsmap, and her passion for addressing health inequities facing women and people of color living with HIV is inspiring.

Miguel Ángel López leads the NGO MásQueTresLetras in Colombia, focusing on HIV education through innovative means. As a journalist pursuing a master’s in public health, Miguel’s expertise in communication and his commitment to Latin America will be a valuable voice on our board.

Yuri Yoursky, an LGBT Human Rights activist from Ukraine, is the Programs Lead at Eurasian Coalition for Health, Rights, Gender and Sexual Diversity (ECOM). Yuri is dedicated to promoting human rights, tackling stigma and discrimination, and advancing HIV services for gay men and trans people in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

We are excited to welcome our new board members as we embark on this exciting journey of strengthening our leadership at GNP+. This year has seen the dawn of a new era in the GNP+ leadership, and we are filled with optimism for the future of community leadership in the AIDS response. The dedication and expertise of our new board members strengthen our governance structure firmly securing our important role in shaping the health and rights of all people living with HIV.” – Rodrigo Olin, GNP+ Board Chair.

Susan, Miguel, and Yuri are joining Rodrigo Olin, Valeriia Rachynska, Friedel Dausab and Renatta Langlais, to champion our cause with unwavering commitment to our recently launched GNP+ strategy. Together, this indomitable team is poised to advance the health and rights of all people living with HIV.

GNP+ Board Members
GNP+ Board Members: Back Row – Miguel Ángel López, Susan Cole, Yuri Yoursky. Front Row: Valeriia Rachynska, Rodrigo Olin (Chair), Renatta Langlais.

The Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+), The International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW Global), and the Global Network of Young People Living with HIV (Y+ Global), stand united in our support for the reauthorisation of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).  

Over the years, PEPFAR has played a pivotal role in ending AIDS, and its impact on the lives of children, young people, women, and key populations cannot be overstated. 

From its inception in 2003, PEPFAR has been a beacon of hope for all people living with HIV globally, particularly in resource-limited settings where access to life-saving treatment was a distant dream.  

An estimated 20 million people are currently on HIV treatment and 1.5 million have access to pre-exposure prophylaxis thanks to PEPFAR. The programme has helped to prevent an estimated 25 million HIV-related deaths, and 5.5 million children were born HIV-free.  Reimagining PEPFAR’s Strategic Direction is a step forward for a comprehensive response to HIV, building on significant progress while addressing persistent gaps and inequalities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, in our current drive to meet global HIV goals, PEPFAR remains an indispensable weapon in our arsenal.” 

“One of the most remarkable achievements of PEPFAR has been its unwavering commitment to addressing the unique needs of all people living with and affected by HIV,” says Florence Anam, Co-Executive Director of GNP+. “The program has worked tirelessly to ensure that children born with HIV have access to early diagnosis and treatment, giving them the chance to lead healthy lives. Moreover, PEPFAR’s investments in paediatrics research and treatment have paved the way for innovations that have saved countless young lives.” 

Adolescent girls and young women have long been recognised as a priority population in the response. PEPFAR has prioritised this demographic, implementing programs that empower them with knowledge about sexual and reproductive health and providing access to HIV prevention methods. The focus on the unique vulnerabilities faced by young women, PEPFAR is helping to build resilience, break the cycle of transmission and protect future generations. 

“PEPFAR has empowered women living with HIV to live in a world where HIV is not a barrier to our dreams,” emphasises Kneeshe Parkinson, Vice Chair of ICW Global “It has shown us that when we work together, women can overcome even the greatest challenges. Let’s renew our commitment to ending the HIV epidemic, ensuring sexual reproductive health and rights for all women, and empowering the most marginalised among us.” 

Key populations, including sex workers, men who have sex with men, and people who use drugs, have historically faced discrimination and marginalisation, making them more susceptible to HIV. PEPFAR has been instrumental in preventing new HIV transmissions and ensuring that all people living with HIV receive the care and support they need. Through partnerships with community-based organisations, PEPFAR has created safe spaces where key populations can access testing, treatment, counselling and support services without fear of stigma or discrimination. 

For young people living with and affected by HIV, PEPFAR is not just a program; it’s a promise of a brighter tomorrow,” asserts Maximina Jokonya, Interim Executive Director for Y+ Global. “It has provided us with the tools and resources to advocate for our own health and well-being. Let us not falter now but continue to work hand-in-hand, and empower future generations of youth leaders to drive meaningful change.”  

One of the most impressive aspects of PEPFAR’s work is its emphasis on sustainability. PEPFAR has invested in strengthening healthcare systems in the countries it serves, ensuring that the progress made in ending AIDS and new HIV transmission is secured in the phase of current and emerging trends of climate change and new pandemics. This long-term vision is essential for maintaining the gains achieved over the years. 

In the words of Florence Anam, Co-Executive Director of GNP+: “PEPFAR has been a lifeline for people living with HIV, including children, women, and key populations, globally. It has not only saved lives but has empowered all of us and the communities to take control of our health. Reauthorising PEPFAR is not just a moral imperative; it is a strategic investment in a healthier, more equitable future.”, underscores Anam. 

PEPFAR continues to show commitment towards SDG 3 by working to eliminate inequalities that keep people from accessing health care services and keeping the voices of People Living with HIV at the Centre of PEPFAR’s response. 

As we advocate for the reauthorization of PEPFAR, we must also recognise the threat of complacency. HIV is far from being defeated, and the gains made through PEPFAR’s and other partners, with the leadership of UNAIDS efforts can easily be eroded. We must continue to prioritise research, innovation, and access to care for all who need it, with a person-centred, rights-based gender equitable sustainable response. There are 9 million people living with HIV who are not on treatment.  

GNP+, ICW Global, and Y+ Global, urges policymakers and the US congress to reauthorise PEPFAR to pave the way for a HIV free generation.  

We are absolutely thrilled to share some incredible news – the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) has welcomed two extraordinary individuals to our vibrant team!

Please join us in extending a warm and enthusiastic welcome to Daughtie Ogutu and Tinashe Rufurwadzo, who recently became a part of the GNP+ family. Daughtie and Tinashe bring with them not only their remarkable dedication to activism but also a wealth of passion and expertise in technical and feminist leadership.

Daughtie Ogutu has taken on the role of Programme Manager, spearheading our efforts within the Global Partnership for Action to Eliminate all Forms of Stigma and Discrimination and with HIV Justice Worldwide. With a stellar track record leading the African Sex Worker’s Alliance (ASWA) and Frontline Defenders, Daughtie’s advocacy for sex workers and sexual and reproductive health and rights is unmatched.

Tinashe Rufurwadzo joins us as the Digital Empowerment Manager, focusing on the Digital Health and Rights Project. Tinashe’s journey, marked by bold leadership at Y+ Global and as Global Communications Manager at Prevention Access Campaign, is a testament to his dedication to advocating for marginalized populations.

As we embark on this exciting new chapter, both Daughtie and Tinashe come on board at a pivotal moment for GNP+, aligning with our renewed strategy. Their leadership and dedication to working with networks and communities to enhance the lives of people living with HIV in all their beautiful diversity are truly inspiring.

Let’s extend our warmest welcome to Daughtie and Tinashe as we unite in our collective mission to make a lasting impact!

Welcome aboard, Daughtie and Tinashe! Together, we will make a difference.

Next week, GNP+ together with its coalition partners HIV Justice Worldwide and the Love Alliance will be at the Fast-Track Cities 2023 Conference, taking place in Amsterdam, Netherlands from the 25th – 27th of September, 2023. 

The conference organised by the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), in collaboration with UNAIDS, Stop TB Partnership, World Hepatitis Alliance, and Fast-Track Cities Institute, will bring together more than 500 cities worldwide committed to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.3 of ending the HIV and tuberculosis (TB) epidemics, and the World Health Organization (WHO) goals of eliminating HBV and HCV, by 2030. 

The conference aims to provide a space for interactive dialogue and facilitate the collaborative development of innovative approaches to ending HIV and TB and eliminating HBV and HCV. The conference will feature a distinguished faculty from across the Fast-Track Cities network, convened under the theme, “Integration and Inclusion for Impact,” reflecting the importance of an integrated approach to urban HIV, TB, and viral hepatitis responses that prioritises inclusivity in health and social care.

Our network partners including; the HIV Justice Network, Aidsfonds, Prevention Access Campaign, GATE, and Treatment Action Campaign will be in attendance and presenting their work. The roadmap below highlights some of the events our partners will be leading and participating in:

View the official website for the full schedule of events here.

Through our Positive Universe consortium, we support PLHIV networks from EECA, West Africa and MENA regions to actively engage with policymakers and discussions around UHC at the country and regional levels. Here is their input to the HLM on UHC happening at UNGA78, with data collected in consultation with local constituencies.

As we advance, we call on governments and all stakeholders to ensure and expand the engagement of civil society and communities in the design, implementation and monitoring of UHC and to ensure UHC strategies are truly universal, equitable and inclusive: prioritise the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups by guaranteeing their access to quality health services.

Read the statements below:

UHC Statement NAP+WA

UHC MENA Statement

UHC EECA Statement

GNP+ and partners developed a statement comparing the commitments in the 2019 UHC Political Declaration and the 2023 UHC Political Declaration, focusing on the following areas:

  • References To HIV
  • Human Rights Language
  • Communities
  • Integration

In summary, the 2023 UHC Political Declaration takes positive steps towards prioritising person-centred care, better coordination in healthcare, and increased recognition of HIV and community importance. However, it fails to address human rights issues, particularly for criminalised and marginalised communities. Additionally, it misses the opportunity to strengthen essential healthcare aspects and funding commitments for multilateral organisations and community-led responses. Future efforts should rectify these shortcomings to ensure comprehensive healthcare coverage, encompassing human rights and equitable funding.

Read the statement here

The Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+) is delighted to announce that our Global Advocacy Manager Cédric Nininahazwe has been selected to join the steering committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) Civil Society Commission. We celebrate this milestone as we continue to sustain the Denver principles and acknowledge our accountability to the broader civil society and communities. 

The Commission is a WHO Secretariat-led network comprised of civil society organizations (CSOs) whose role is to strengthen dialogue, foster collaboration and provide recommendations to support WHO in its engagement with civil society at global, regional, and national levels. The Steering Committee will help to guide the work of the Commission in partnering with civil society to improve preparedness and response to public health emergencies and to accelerate attainment of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals. 

It became clear during COVID that the extensive experience of networks of people living with HIV around the world enabled them to respond rapidly and successfully to the needs of their communities. This wealth of expertise in meaningful, ethical, and effective community engagement is a rich resource to help the world prepare for future pandemics and other health emergencies. Cédric’s selection for the Steering Committee is an exciting recognition of this collective expertise and an important opportunity that builds on GNP+’s proud tradition as custodian of the 1983 Denver Principles, the foundation for the self-empowerment and self-determination of all people living with HIV. 

With this important “seat at the table,” GNP+ sees its role on the Civil Society Commission Steering Committee as going beyond HIV alone – acting as a responsible steward of the position to bring the voices and priorities of the wider community and partners into the global health agenda, in order to promote equity, rights and access to health for all. 

As Cédric himself acknowledges, ‘‘It’s an historic opportunity to strengthen WHO engagement with civil society and communities, and I can’t take it for granted. Guided by accountability and transparency, my commitment is to work with everyone to bring about the changes needed.’’ 

In the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a story of resilience and unity is unfolding amid an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. This narrative is centered around the strength and determination of communities of people living with HIV (PLHIV) and key populations. These communities, driven by the courage of their members and the unwavering support of organisations, are not merely surviving but emerging as beacons of hope. During this year’s World Humanitarian Day, it is essential to recognize and stand in solidarity with these remarkable groups and people who are shaping a future characterised by inclusivity, resilience, and compassion.

Amidst the chaos and displacement caused by the crisis, stories of courage and determination are emerging from the hearts of the affected communities. These communities are not passive victims; they are active agents of change in the face of adversity, particularly in addressing challenges related to HIV.

The turmoil and uncertainty resulting from the crisis have brought unique challenges to PLHIV and key populations. The disruption of medical services has worsened existing health conditions, and these communities are grappling not only with the immediate consequences of the crisis but also with the task of ensuring continued access to essential HIV treatment and care.

The crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion has highlighted the critical importance of humanitarian aid. Eleven community-led organisations in Ukraine, along with networks of PLHIV and key populations in neighbouring countries, have become lifelines for the most vulnerable, particularly those living with HIV/TB and key populations that have been disproportionately impacted.

These organisations are collaboratively devising strategies to respond to the crisis. They are ensuring that antiretroviral treatment remains uninterrupted, while also providing vital assistance with diagnostics and transportation. Beyond medicines and supplies, they are extending psychosocial support and preserving human dignity. However, their role extends even further. When a humanitarian crisis strikes, these community organisations step up in unprecedented ways, offering assistance with evacuations, establishing shelters, and providing essentials like food and clothing.

However, beneath the surface lies a deeper struggle. Amidst the chaos, fewer PLHIV and key populations are seeking the necessary treatment or prevention. The immediate need for shelter and sustenance often overshadows the importance of HIV services. People living with HIV, TB patients, and members of key communities are prioritising their families’ immediate needs, relegating their healthcare requirements to a secondary concern. The painstaking process of securing shelter consumes valuable time and resources, diverting attention from healthcare needs.

In the face of stress, compounded by the fear of stigma and discrimination, seeking shelter takes precedence over seeking treatment. Stigma acts as a barrier, discouraging timely access to treatment and further complicating the search for alternative income sources. The challenges are well-documented through cases reported to NGOs and networks. This underscores the vital role of integrating HIV services with humanitarian aid, ensuring that treatment adherence remains a priority amid the crisis.

The socio-economic challenges exacerbated by the conflict have hit PLHIV particularly hard. A staggering 92% are eligible for cash aid due to their low earnings. Key populations, often overlooked, face barriers when seeking humanitarian aid from non-governmental organisations. Despite claims of inclusivity, these groups often receive inadequate support due to the fear of discrimination during emergencies. The majority of clients prefer support from HIV-focused organisations, with 87% refraining from seeking assistance, often isolating themselves due to stigma.

The findings of rapid assessments conducted by Light of Hope in June and July 2022, and June 2023, with support from the Global Network of People Living with HIV, echo these observations. Integrating humanitarian aid with HIV and TB services emerges as a crucial approach. The concept of a “one-stop-shop,” providing a comprehensive range of services in a trusted environment, emerges as a promising solution. However, the sustainability of humanitarian support is limited as HIV donors primarily focus on HIV and TB epidemics. Yet, exceptions were made during the early stages of the conflict, allowing for the adaptation of community services. As needs evolve, community organisations, once heavily dependent on major donors like The Global Fund and PEPFAR, must seek alternative funding sources and develop new strategies for accountability and communication.

A shining example is a successful pilot project in Ukraine, supported by the Elton John AIDS Foundation, UNAIDS, and the Open Society Foundation, and executed by Light of Hope and 11 community-led organisations. This initiative aimed at strengthening the capacity of HIV-oriented community-led organisations in humanitarian responses has yielded significant results. These community-led organisations were able to secure $2 million in funding from humanitarian donors thanks to a $75,000 investment.

In the midst of the turmoil, these communities are not only confronting physical health challenges but are also championing human rights. A human rights defender asserts that donors, technical support providers, and regional networks must adapt their approaches to empower community-led groups to advocate for and defend human rights, even in the face of differing values.

Human rights violations, stigma, and discrimination are formidable barriers that hinder access to vital services for internally displaced people, migrants, and refugees. The persistent advocacy by community-led and civil society organisations has played a pivotal role in ensuring continued access to life-saving ARV medicines, TB treatment, and other critical services for those affected by HIV and TB. These organisations have demonstrated that their reach extends far beyond their core constituencies, embracing a broader responsibility in both Ukraine and countries hosting refugees.

In the middle of economic turmoil in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, communities living with HIV are among the most vulnerable. The convergence of economic hardships with strained health and social services has a disproportionate impact on these populations. Escalating inflation and fluctuating currency exchange rates exacerbate the challenges, driving up the costs of services, logistics, and medicines.

In these trying times, the indomitable spirit of communities living with HIV, TB, and key populations shines through. Beyond their immediate constituencies, these groups in Ukraine and neighbouring countries have emerged as pillars of support for the wider population. They have bridged the gap between refugees and health and social protection services, serving as a beacon of hope in times of darkness. However, the well-being of activists and community leaders remains a concern.

Historically, networks have been essential in connecting activists, professionals, and decision-makers. Yet, these networks now face unprecedented challenges and complexities. The ongoing crisis has strained solidarity, magnifying divisions, particularly regarding Russia’s invasion. The road ahead requires these networks to navigate uncharted waters – maintaining unity and shared values while accommodating refugees and migrants in the diaspora.

In June 2022, various organisations converged in Vilnius, driven by an imperative to unite in the face of adversity. This gathering was pivotal, not just for organisational resilience but also for constructing a consensus across the region on vital matters. This led to the creation of an official communiqué , meticulously outlining the shared perspectives, agreements, and recommendations that emerged from the discussions. This document further paved the way for recommendations directed towards the Global Fund, ensuring that the voices of communities are heard at a broader level.

As the days unfold in this complex narrative, one thing remains clear: communities amidst the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine are far more than victims. They are survivors, advocates, and agents of change. They stand as a testament to human strength, unity, and hope in the darkest of times. In the face of adversity, they have not just happened – they have risen, inspiring a future defined by resilience, compassion, and the unwavering pursuit of a better world.

Download the Analysis and Surveys here.