“Living, and not to be ashamed of being happy, to sing, to sing and to sing the beauty of being an eternal learner.”
29 women singing together the song What is it, by Gozanguinha – one of the greatest Brazilian composers and singers. That was the way, after building a plan of political incidence for each state of the northeast of Brazil, the Workshop on Sexual and Reproductive Rights , Violence and AIDS for Seropositve Women from the Region came to the end. The event, designed and coordinated by Gestos, took place in Recife, between September 23rd and 27th.
Intensive discussions and learning were held in four days, contributing for the political strengthening of seropositive women leaderships to act on instances of social control. They also elaborated a profile of their states concerning the progresses and the challenges of public policies to people living with HIV/AIDS, mainly women. The moment was very important for the integration between states and for exchanging experiences on public policies on social control.
WORKSHOPS – During the workshops on leadership, violence against women, feminism, advocacy, the seropositve women were able to live and understand the sense of monitoring the UNGASS-AIDS goals, through reflections and the share of learned lessons. News from all over the world was used in the national and international policies workshop, aiming to evaluate the happenings throughout the world, relate them to the epidemic fight and the vulnerability to the HIV/AIDS, as well as to reinforce the link between international agreements and local policies.
The relation between AIDS, poverty and illiteracy was one of the aspects that called the participants attention. They reinforced the importance to intensify the works on prevention in their states, through the awareness of politicians and laws makers. The analysis, in groups, of the UNGASS-AIDS goals has also brought up common problems of all states: lack of funding for prevention programmes, difficulties faced by HIV+ pregnant women – stories of not getting tests results in time, not having the appropriate counseling including information on delivery and lactation – the need of specific researches about the use of antretroviral therapies and the sides effects on women bodies and the AIDS socio-economic impact on their lives, still permeated with prejudice and discrimination. Women form all states reported problems on the Plan to Combat the Feminization of AIDS and other STD implantation.
As main product of the workshop, the political incidence plan of each state, consolidated on the last day, aims to create working strategies to fight some of these problems. Each state pointed out their main issues and listed actions and possible partnerships. The idea is that women can implement the plan on an articulated and strategic way. Another meeting will happen in the next six months to evaluate the actions and make new plans.