Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Greater involvement of people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS (GIPA)
People living with HIV understand each other's situation better than anyone and are often best placed to counsel one another and to represent their needs in decision- and policy-making forums.

The idea that the personal experiences of people living with HIV could and should be translated into helping to shape a response to the AIDS epidemic was first voiced in 1983 at a national AIDS conference in the USA. It was formally adopted as a principle at the Paris AIDS Summit in 1994, where 42 countries declared the Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV and AIDS (GIPA) to be critical to ethical and effective national responses to the epidemic.

Today the GIPA principle is the backbone of many interventions worldwide. People living with, or affected by HIV are involved in a wide variety of activities at all levels of the fight against AIDS; from appearing on posters, bearing personal testimony, and supporting and counseling others with HIV, to participating in major decision- and policy-making activities.

The engagement of people living with HIV is all the more urgent as countries scale up their national AIDS responses to achieve the goal of universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support services.

UNAIDS GIPA Policy Position

No single agency can provide for the full spectrum of needs of people living with HIV: partnerships between actors are therefore needed. To enable the active engagement of people living with HIV, UNAIDS urges all actors to ensure that people living with HIV have the space and the practical support for their greater and more meaningful involvement.

Governments, international agencies and civil society must:

  • set, implement and monitor minimum targets for the participation of people living with HIV, including women, young people and marginalized populations, in decision-making bodies. Selection processes should be inclusive, transparent and democratic; and
  • involve people living with HIV in developing funding priorities and in the choice, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of HIV programmes from their inception.


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