Women's Rights are Human Rights

10 Reasons Why Criminalization of HIV Exposure or Transmission Harms Women

Reason 1 – Women will be deterred from accessing HIV prevention, treatment, and care services, including HIV testing:
Many women fear violence and rejection associated with disclosure and an HIV positive diagnosis. The criminalization of HIV transmission or exposure may generate additional obstacles to healthcare for women. Prevailing stigma, discrimination and other violations of rights, including the lack of assured confidentiality, already pose a barrier to HIV prevention and testing services. The fear of an HIV positive diagnosis and the potential of subsequent prosecution is already discouraging pregnant women from accessing antenatal care, for fear that they will test positive and be exposed to abuse. Criminalizing HIV exposure or transmission also potentially undermines the effectiveness of child health, maternal health and perinatal HIV transmission programs, as women may choose not to access these services, due to fear. Thus, women are essentially being prevented from accessing available treatment and care services, for themselves or their children.

To affirm the need to protect and advance women's rights in the response to HIV and AIDS, we invite you to read all the '10 Reasons Why Criminalization of HIV Exposure or Transmission Harms Women' here , and encourage you to endorse the document here

For more information on women’s rights and HIV, please visit www.athenanetwork.org or www.aln.org.za

Mujeres Adelante

Building from AIDS 2010 in Vienna: Advancing women's rights in the response to HIV and AIDS

We invite you to join our conversation as we move from AIDS2008 in Mexico City through AIDS2010 in Vienna. Mujeres Adelante is a newsletter and a special joint edition series of the AIDS Legal Quarterly on women’s rights and HIV that grows out of a history of shared organizing around gender and human rights – and of mobilizing women – at International AIDS Conference since Barcelona in 2002. Mujeres Adelante was the name of a collaboration between global advocates and a local HIV positive women’s organization in Barcelona to build a parallel conference embedded in the Barcelona community that would be free and open to the public.

Mujeres Adelante, the newsletter and journal, is jointly produced by ATHENA and the AIDS Legal Network – and will be carrying forward the dialogue, discussion, and debates from Mexico City through the Sexual Violence Research Initiative Forum 2009 to the IAS HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment, and Prevention as we build toward AIDS2010 in Vienna.

We have three central goals for these newsletters and journals:
One is to make International AIDS Conferences and related global forums accessible to community stakeholders and in so doing, to create mechanisms by which research, advocacy, and community meet.

The second is to mobilize around a ‘gender agenda’ and in so doing, to place women’s rights and gender equality at the heart of the AIDS response.

And in so doing, our third goal is to create a platform whereby contentious, neglected, and emerging issues in the AIDS response can be identified, debated, and addressed.

Mujeres Adelante manifests the desire of diverse stakeholders in the AIDS response to create a shared voice and vision around gender equality and women’s rights; to bridge movements; to link sectors; and to create channels through which local and global meet as well as the passion of women from around the world to interpret, own, and advance a rights-based response to HIV and AIDS.

SVRI Newsletters

Mujeres Adelante issue 06 July 09
Mujeres Adelante issue 09 July 09

IAS Pathogenesis Conference

Mujeres Adelante issue 20 July 09
Mujeres Adelante issue 22 July 09


Special Joint Journal Editions with the AIDS Legal Quarterly
January 2010
March 2010


ATHENA is a member of AWID (Association for Women's Rights in Development) and WGNRR (Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights).