WHO Bulletin on Global Values & Preferences Survey

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The World Health Organization(WHO) published a bulletin validating the participatory research approach undertaken by ATHENA and partners for the largest international survey to date on the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and human rights of women living with HIV. The survey was commissioned by the WHO in 2014 as part of a global “values and preferences” consultation to begin updating the 2006 WHO Guidelines on the SRH of women living with HIV.
The survey, which contained mandatory and optional questions, was based on an appreciative enquiry approach in which the life-cycle experiences of women living with HIV were investigated. It had been developed by a core reference group representing a wide range of national, regional and global organizations of women living with HIV – including adolescents and elderly women and transgender, lesbian, bisexual and other women who have sex with women – and a wide range of experiences – including perinatal transmission, sexual violence or rape, co-morbidities of tuberculosis and/or hepatitis C, current or previous use of drugs and prison or detention. The survey placed the voices of women living with HIV at the start of the development of new global guidelines; an approach which could be replicated in the development of guidelines for many other health considerations.
The findings have been published in the report, "Building a Safe House on Firm Ground", and reveal the extent of gender based violence and mental health challenges experienced by women living with HIV, and the impact these have on their lives.