Understanding the Global Partnership for Action to Eliminate All Forms of HIV-related Stigma and Discrimination

The Global Partnership to Eliminate all forms of HIV-related Stigma and Discrimination (The Global Partnership) was established in 2018 in response to a call by the UNAIDS Programme Coordination Board (PCB) Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) delegation and UN partners for stronger efforts to address the negative effects of stigma and discrimination in the lives of people living with and vulnerable to HIV. By raising awareness about these barriers to health and well-being, the Global Partnership aims to inspire countries to take action to understand and confront them. 

Gender inequality and HIV-related stigma and discrimination make it more difficult to prevent HIV transmission among women and girls, and for women and girls living with HIV, stigma and discrimination can impact their ability to live healthy and productive lives. These two challenges are among the main reasons why AIDS remains one of the leading causes of death among women aged 15–49. Adolescent girls and young women account for 1 in 4 new cases of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa and only 3 out of 10 adolescent girls and young women have accurate and comprehensive knowledge of HIV, including how to keep themselves safe. Globally, 1 in 3 women living with HIV experience at least one form of discrimination related to their sexual and reproductive health.

We have made life really easy for W4GF Advocates. Don’t miss our latest information note on What the Global Partnership is and why women need to know about it and see our video if you prefer to listen instead of read 🙂

The co-convenors of the Global Partnership are the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+), the UNAIDS Secretariat, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund). 

As of October 2021, 28 countries have committed to take action on HIV-related stigma and discrimination across the six settings over the next five years. Most countries (listed in the box below) selected three settings where they feel they are able to have the most impact in addressing HIV-related stigma.

To date, not enough work has been done across the countries to ensure that women and girls in all their diversity are central to the Global Partnership. Gender-transformative approaches that address inequities that lead to stigma and discrimination should be a top priority for all countries. 

In line with the new Global AIDS Strategy and the Post-2022 Global Fund Strategy, the co-convenors must ensure that women and girls are meaningfully engaged in the Global Partnership, highlight the gaps that leave women vulnerable and disadvantaged, and move forward with a more intentional gender lens that addresses the rights of women and girls.

As a co-convener, the Global Fund has a responsibility to do more to ensure human rights programming explicitly supports countries to respond to the violence and other human rights-related barriers (including stigma and discrimination) that women and girls face in access to HIV prevention, treatment and care services. This responsibility is especially vital for the health and well-being of women and girls from key affected populations. Read the Global Fund’s most recent guidance on ensuring that programs to remove human rights-related barriers to HIV, TB and malaria services are gender responsive and gender transformative.

As the Global Partnership is a community led initiative, GNP+ is a core member that has been working to increase visibility of the Global Partnership. As part of its effort to boost civil society engagement, GNP+ provides technical support (through regional and national coordinators) to ensure that civil society and communities in their diversity can fully participate in the implementation of the Global Partnership at national levels.  

More information about GNP+’s work with the Global Partnership is available on its website. You can also reach out to the contacts below to find out more about how women can engage in this work.

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