This article explains how participatory approaches are now being developed to tackle the triple taboo subjects of sex, gender and death, which are enshrined in the HIV pandemic. It describes the exciting work to tackle the challenges facing development workers in helping people overcome their fears and address these important issues.
The paper discusses the limitations of conventional Information, Education and Communication (IEC) approaches to HIV prevention and describes the Stepping Stones approach to addressing sexual health issues. The Stepping Stones approach a) recognises the location of HIV in a broader sexual and reproductive health context; b) emphasises the importance of a gendered perspective; and c) acknowledges the importance of involving community members in resolving their sexual health needs.
In a brief article, the author talks about an exercise used at a skills building workshop in Bangkok, on ethical guidelines for involvement of HIV positive women in research. The workshop had a wide mix of participants including people from NGOs and universities, HIV positive women, lawyers and pharmacy staff. The participants broke into small groups, and then discussed a set of quotes prepared by the facilitators. The exercise went well, and the author describes how several participants had "aha!" moments in talking through the quotes and the issues.
In this personal article, the author reflects on the necessity to address HIV in all development programs and recognize the gender and other systemic inequalities on which it thrives. Looking at issues from access to treatment under the WHO 3x5 initiative to the plagiarism of ideas and practices from community based projects by international NGOs, the article provides insight about the challenges ahead for combating the HIV epidemic.
Introductory article to special edition of PLA notes on HIV/AIDS.
A series of articles focusing on participatory approaches to sexual and reproductive health from around the world. The inititiatives described range from innovative uses of participatory methods to enhance communication and understanding to strategies to amplify the voices of people of people who would otherwise remain unheard in policy and institutional processes.