International Indigenous HIV & AIDS COMMUNITY

Use your voice.

Indigenous Leaders responding to HIV globally incorporated a new Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) because of the limitations of the old working group structure. It’s time to expand upon our work. Join us in the conversation about what a new logo could look like. Do you like the globe with the red ribbon? What if we added dancers around the globe, for example? What other ideas do you have? Can you share any imagery that might give us ideas?

Discuss on IIWGHA’s Facebook page

Why a new NGO?
iiwgha-dcFor more than three decades, Indigenous leaders from around the world have been on a path towards the formation of the International Indigenous HIV & AIDS COMMUNITY (IIHAC) whose mission is to create an international united voice for Indigenous communities responding to HIV and AIDS.

International Indigenous leaders in the HIV and AIDS community come from different corners of the world, yet exemplify a shared heart, shared mind, and shared passion for working in the joint fight against HIV and AIDS.

For the last 6 years (2011-2017), the International Indigenous Strategic Plan on HIV and AIDS for Indigenous Peoples and Communities has acted as a blueprint for creating an international presence of Indigenous leaders living with and/or working in HIV and AIDS. Through their efforts, the visibility of the impact of HIV and AIDS in Indigenous communities at the international level has been substantially increased.

International Indigenous Working Group on HIV and AIDS
iiwgha-shirtsThe existing Strategic Plan was developed by the International Indigenous Working Group on HIV and AIDS (IIWGHA), a project currently housed within the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) where CAAN acts as IIWGHA’s secretariat. This ambitious Strategic Plan included an objective towards sustainability planning so the work would continue beyond the mandate of the current project by developing and launching IIWGHA into an International NGO.

Develop and launch IIWGHA into an International NGO
As mandated in the Strategic Plan, the International Indigenous HIV & AIDS Community (IIHAC) was incorporated in March of 2016 as a not-for-profit organization with it’s offices based on the First Nation of Mississaugas of the New Credit located just south of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. IIHAC has established a set of By-laws and a financial policy. One of IIHAC’s first successes was to be invited as a full civil society partner to the International AIDS Conference (IAC) Conference Coordinating Committee (CCC), which was accepted.

IIHAC has been working diligently towards the development of the next Strategic Plan to be launched on World AIDS Day, December 1st, 2017. With many moving parts to the process, we have completed an evaluation of the current Strategic Plan in the summer of 2016 with recommendations this past year. In addition, a Strategic Planning session was conducted in Durban, South Africa to attain basic direction and identify future priorities.

Our next steps include the development of a logo for the new IIHAC.
iiwgha-mocIndigenous Peoples globally experience HIV and AIDS levels that are higher than other populations. Indigenous peoples include very diverse, resilient cultures, and varying levels of autonomy within their countries and communities. However, social determinants of health, especially those unique to Indigenous populations as a direct result of colonization and the continuing systemic effects, put Indigenous Peoples at higher risk of being affected by HIV and AIDS. For example, social determinants of Indigenous health include: “historic, political, social and economic… community infrastructure, resources, systems and capacities… health behaviours, physical and social environment”.

There has been limited opportunity to come together on an international scale to discuss and strategize about HIV and AIDS, support and share wise practice approaches to decreasing HIV and AIDS levels, eliminate stigma and discrimination, and to improve the experience of Indigenous people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS. A strategic plan gives purpose behind the activities of the IIHAC, and local Indigenous groups working towards meaningful inclusion in HIV and AIDS prevention, care, treatment, and support.