Hivos website

Towards an

HIV-free world 

Read our story

Enormous progress has been made so far to address the HIV epidemic. More and more people are aware of their status and are receiving treatment. In the last decade, we have seen a mass grassroots mobilization across the globe, bringing a more diverse and inclusive group of people to the forefront of the HIV response.

Despite the progress, significant challenges remain. Persistent unequal gender norms, poverty, criminalization, stigma, discrimination, and the rise of conservative agendas have the potential to lead to stagnation and backsliding. Communities are deliberately left out due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, expression and sex characteristics. LGBT+ people, women, and girls, are heavily affected by violence. Intimate partner violence, gender inequality, and patriarchy limit their ability to negotiate safer sex, as well as access to HIV and sexual and reproductive health services.

It is time to reaffirm the leading role of people living with HIV in the global HIV response.

This World AIDS Day we highlight what is driving our work: meeting the needs and securing the rights of people living with, at risk of, or affected by HIV. It is time to reaffirm the leading role of people living with HIV in the global HIV response. Time to amplify the voices of those who are deliberately left out. And most certainly time to focus on the broader sexual, reproductive, mental, and other health needs of those most at risk.

Today more than ever we must recognize that the only way forward is if people most affected by HIV have a more active role deciding on their health and body, and take control of their sexual and reproductive lives. Beyond that, it also takes political will, courage, and commitment to end HIV once and for all.

AIDS should not kill love poster

 

Hivos and HIV: past, present and future

Past: 

AIDS as a human rights problem

Past: 

AIDS as a human rights problem

Starting in 1991, Hivos was one of the first development organizations to respond to the HIV/AIDS pandemic that had hit Africa so hard. Hivos chose an unconventional approach, arguing that AIDS is not a purely medical problem, but a development and human rights problem.

Its HIV/AIDS program focused on the dignity and human rights of the groups that were most at risk of infection, such as sex workers, men who have sex with men, and transgender persons. 

As long as these people were discriminated against and stigmatized, they would lack access to HIV prevention and treatment. 

Hivos encouraged and supported them in advocating for their right to fully participate in society.

Past

Frans Mom played a key role in developing Hivos’ HIV/AIDS program. “In the eighties many men around me were dying. It was pure luck that I was not infected and could go on with my life.” 

Present: many resources needed, but few available

Present: many resources needed, but few available

The sustainable success of this progress is at stake. Deeply-rooted socioeconomic and cultural barriers are threatening the sustainability of the gains thus far. 

As international donors phase out of middle-income countries, and funding in recipient countries is channeled through governmental institutions without meaningful involvement of civil society, a renewed wave of activism for systemic change is vital.

Greater participation of civil society and people living with HIV in the design, implementation, and monitoring is needed for a more inclusive, responsive, and comprehensive HIV response.

Present

We work with over 60 partners in 30 countries spread throughout Asia, East and Southern Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

85,000 people in Latin America are direct beneficiaries of our work. 28,000 of them receiving voluntary testing and counseling services.

  • 60

    We have worked with over 60 partners...

  • 30

    ... in 30 countries spread throughout Asia, East and Southern Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean

  • 85,000

    85,000 people in Latin America are direct beneficiaries of our work. 28,000 of them receiving voluntary testing and counseling services.

Future: all those at risk are empowered, respected and included

Future: all those at risk are empowered, respected and included

Twenty-eight years later, Hivos still believes in a world where all people living with, at risk of, or affected by HIV are able to decide freely about their lives and bodies, and are respected and included by society. 


We believe that they should be able to live their lives free from stigma, discrimination, and any other form of violence. 

We continue to work to ensure that they have the skills, knowledge, and opportunities to claim and defend their rights. 

We believe groups most affected by HIV should be actively involved in the formulation and implementation of HIV policies, programs, and approaches. 

We take particular care to include persons who are affected by various forms of discrimination and exclusion. 

Future

Today more than ever we must recognize that the only way forward is if people most affected by HIV have a more active role deciding on their health and body, and take control of their sexual and reproductive lives. Beyond that, it also takes political will, courage, and commitment to end HIV once and for all.