Gestos holds meeting with legislators and seropositive women from the Northeast of Brazil

Gestos – HIV+, Communication and Gender Issues – held on the last day May 19, the Meeting between women and legislators: strengthening the actions to fight the feminization of AIDS in the Northeast of Brazil. The event had the participation of seropositive women from the nine northeastern states, members of the National Network of People Living with HIV/ IDS (RNP +), National Movement of Posithive Citizens (MNCP) and The Network of Young People Living with HIV/ IDS and of legislators from the region linked to the STD /AIDS area , public policies for women and women’s health.

The day was quite busy, with intense discussions within the group of legislators and women. The main result was the construction of a shared agenda between legislators and women to carry out actions in each state. Efforts will focus on workshops in smaller cities to inform about the Plan to Fight the Feminization of AIDS, the development of educational materials and the creation of management committees to monitor these plans.

Meeting – The meeting was part of the project Monitoring UNGASS-AIDS Goals on Sexual and Reproductive Health, funded by the Ford Foundation, which aims to strengthen the performance of seropositive women in their states by political incidence and social control of public policies, to build a map of each state situation  related to services for this public and to discuss the interface between sexual and reproductive rights, violence and AIDS, so that together – government and civil society – are capable of articulating strategies for coping with the feminization of AIDS.

The choice to act in the Northeast of the country is due to the fact that AIDS remains severely impacting the region and, contrary to what occurs in other parts of Brazil, there is no stability, but growth in the number of cases. According to the Brazilian National STD and AIDS Program – 2009, from 1997 to 2007, in the Northeast, the incidence doubled from 5,3 per 100 thousand inhabitants to 10,8 and has increased among the female population, especially the youngest.

Gestos – Since the beginning of its activities in 1993, Gestos – HIV+, Communication and Gender Issues – has been facing the feminization of AIDS developing actions for women in the prevention and care field. In recent years, has promoted meetings, seminars, public policies monitoring and developed research and publications on the subject. Moreover, it has trained leaders of seropositive women, directly contributing to their political formation and performance in areas of social control.

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