This document outlines what it considers to be seven key areas of concern for HIV positive women and girls in terms of their reproductive rights in the current response to HIV/AIDS. They look at the following issues affecting women's rights:
mother to child transmission (MTCT), which, they argue, overlooks the mother as a woman in her own right. They state that policies aimed at curbing MTCT may also hold women solely accountable for their child’s HIV infection; singling out mothers and ignoring fathers poses the added risk of alienating women who, to avoid blame and stigma, may forgo treatment that could improve their health and reduce the risk of transmission.
women and young people, especially adolescent girls, are particularly vulnerable to HIV infection due to an increased biological susceptibility and lower socioeconomic and political status
the debate over breastfeeding or formula milk has ignored the health of mothers, for example, researchers in Kenya found that the maternal mortality rate of HIV positive women who breastfeed is three times higher than that of women who formula feed, yet their health does not usually enter the debate
once a woman becomes HIV-positive, some national policies restrict her right to become pregnant, carry her pregnancy to term, or even marry
many countries have very limited right to abortion which does not include HIV status
some countries have enacted national policies meant to curb MTCT that not only rely on inconclusive evidence, they curtail women’s rights. For example, in Bolivia, it is a crime for a mother to infect her child with HIV through breastfeeding
there is danger of, and some evidence for, coerced abortion in HIV positive women
mandatory testing promotes stigmas and may discourage women from seeking prenatal care
government and traditional leaders around the world have demonized and stigmatized women’s sexuality, identifying it as the key to both prevention and containment
The authors call on the international community to honor agreements and end these forms of discrimination they identify in this document.