How to ensure GIPA within PLHIV community/Networks

I am working as a National GIPA coordinator for five north India states through INP+ and supported by UNDP, India. After working so many years on GIPA I am still not able to understand what dose GIPA means, when it comes to internal advocacy within PLHIV community? Is it increase accountability, is it to improve the quality of services to other PLHIV, is it a involvement at decision making process where community is taking decisions for community? The whole advocacy component in Indian PLHIV movement is not visible. Networks are working on GIPA since 2001 and where we are today? I really want guidance from you on how to intervene and what exactly will start improving and changing the current scenario. Manoj Pardeshi

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Comment by MariJo on August 19, 2009 at 3:37pm
Dear Manoj,
I am really interested in the issue you raise here after having been working with HIV positive groups and networks for quite some time, specially with ICW and GNP+. GIPA is for me one of the backbone principles of the HIV work and my concern with that is how it is implemented.
As Gaston says, the second practice of the Self Assessment deals with Inclusion, which I find is exactly what GIPA is all about. Only that in the Self Assessment is not circumscribed to the inclusion of HIV positive people but of all the community, and it is that difference what I am trying to focus more on and see how it can match with the GIPA principles.
In my experience, GIPA was created as a right of HIV positive people to participate in the decisions that affect us and as such is very important to ensure that it is fulfilled, but I see a gap there as it seems that there is an 'us' claiming for a right in front of a 'them'. This split made me think a lot about how our HIV positive movement is aisolating itself in respect to the rest of the society and it does not contribute to everyone having ownership of HIV crisis and responsibility for HIV response as a result.
I also think that the framework of the Self Assessment can provide a broader scope for the GIPA principle and can contribute to integrating HIV positive people in the community response, having ownership of the response together with the rest of the members of our communities.
I would like to hear more from your experiences with GIPA.
Best wishes
MariJo
Comment by MANOJ PARDESHI on August 17, 2009 at 4:25pm
Thank you Dr. Rajesh and Gaston, current PLHIV movement is lacking in internal advocacy and because of that the national and state voices are almost nowhere. Simple OI's availability issue or DIC guideline issue no common voice and no common agenda advocacy in front of the community. That is adding to frustration...............
Comment by Dr Rajesh Gopal on August 6, 2009 at 4:39pm
Dear Manoj.

Welcome to the forum!

Many people share the feelings and perceptions so candidly expressed by you.

The framework and the links provided by Gaston will definitely be very useful for the same.

I strongly feel that there is no room for being disheartened because of the slow pace of the sequence of events.
With committed people like you and proactive networks in some parts of the country, we can definitely ensure it for India to begin with.

A lot of hard work is needed in this regard as you would remember from the national and regional consultations which have to be translated into ground realities with a definite timeline. .

Best wishes,
Rajesh Gopal.
Comment by Gaston on August 5, 2009 at 10:11am
Dear Manoj. Thanks for your question. I think there is not 1 answer to your question. When is a community truly practising 'inclusion' of GIPA? It's probably up to them to decide what is their dream or vision for that.

There are already some global experiences on how to improve on 'inclusion', the second practice of the AIDS Competence self-assessment framework. . This framework can also be used to respond to your question: Where are we today?

See here, the principles and experiences from Asian communities
See here, the principles and experiences from PLHIV networks and truckd...

This might be helpful? I am sure others will add to this.

Keep the good work going.

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