SRHR the indispensable ally in ending HIV

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Gubeanthrey Janaky Raman is from Malaysia and currently a final year medical student at Dhaka Medical College, Bangladesh. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Despite having emerged decades earlier, the 1980’s witnessed the tumultuous outbreak of HIV and by the end of the year, every region in the world had reported at least one case of AIDS. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) today, more than 70 million people have been infected with HIV and about 35 million have died from AIDS since the beginning of the global epidemic. 

HIV/AIDS became the epicentre of the world and a massive shift in focus occurred due to the fatal magnitude of the condition. Abundant initiatives for the HIV/AIDS cause have since been engineered and brought into effect. In spite of that, the question remains in relation to why the pursuit to end HIV/AIDS continues to be slow and uneventful.  

It is in these circumstances, the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) sector and HIV/AIDS appear to be contenders in the global competition for resources and attention as if one could be achieved without the other. It is ironic to expect significant progress and impact will be made in fighting HIV/AIDS where there is a rift between SRHR and HIV/AIDS work.

The fight of HIV/AIDS is encompassed in the very crux of SRHR. The stigma and discrimination that surrounds HIV/AIDS  is reason enough that only through SRHR this epidemic can see its end. What was once coined as the “gay plague” now is recognized as a disease that does not discriminate in age, sex, gender identity,  race, religion, social nor wealth status. Granted there are medical advances to end AIDS, the real fight is to eliminate stigma and discrimination against HIV/AIDS and that is the only way we will ever be close to being a HIV/AIDS free world. 

SRHR bears the potential to uproot gender inequalities, patriarchal norms, social injustices among many other obstacles that hinder us from reaching the common goal of ending HIV/AIDS. In every public health system, SRHR designates an avenue for ethical and undiscriminating conversations through which every individual that experiences it, especially seropositive individuals, will be encouraged to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights in the absence of fear and prejudice. The impact that will follow, not only will reduce the rate of  transmission and new HIV cases but also allow seropositive individuals to lead a wholesome lifestyle encompassing their sexual and reproductive health goals. 

The form of empowerment that SRHR provides through cultivating gender equality, investing in quality sexuality education and elevating measures to end stigma, discrimination and violence directed towards HIV/AIDS and at the people living with it will be an expedient in the initiative to end HIV/AIDS. Bearing that in mind, the discrepancy between the SRHR sector and HIV/AIDS work must be minimized as much as illuminated to show the cardinal relationship both fields share. By doing so, an integral and potent response to HIV/AIDS can be prompted which would be crucial in eradicating the public health threat that is the HIV/AIDS epidemic. 

About the author

Gubeanthrey Janaky Raman is from Malaysia and currently a final year medical student at Dhaka Medical College, Bangladesh. She is also the local officer for the Standing Committee on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights including HIV and AIDS (SCORA) under Bangladesh Medical Students’ Society (BMSS) which is the NMO under IFMSA. She hopes to pursue a career in medicine incorporating her passion for writing and journalism. She can be reached via gubeanthrey@gmail.com

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Cities: a ’cause of and solution to’ climate change

MEPs cap prices of calls within EU and approve emergency alert system

UN chief hopes for new agreement after Israel concludes international observation mission

How to stay in shape and step up support for refugees

Innovation is the key to the pay-TV industry’s long-term growth

‘Dangerous nationalism’ seriously threatens efforts to tackle statelessness: UNHCR chief

Is Eurozone heading towards a long stagnation?

Spain will soon overtake Japan in life expectancy rankings. Here’s why

Sovereign wealth funds could increase equality in a post-COVID world

Election-related violence claims 85 lives in Afghanistan: UN report

Countries must make teaching profession more financially and intellectually attractive

An economist explains what happens if there’s another financial crisis

Commissioner sings “Volar-e” but the European driver no “Cantar-e”

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Transport Industry Drive for Improved Energy Efficiency and Electro-Mobility to Stem High Growth of Emissions

This fascinating map shows how food moves around the US

Draghi left alone with no hope of boosting EU growth as Merkel just focuses on next elections

These 11 companies are leading the way to a circular economy

From social entrepreneurship to systems entrepreneurship: how to create lasting change

Parliament votes for €1 billion in aid to Ukraine

How can education empower youth to become tomorrow’s leaders

Worth going ‘extra mile’ for a new Syrian constitution, UN envoy urges

TTIP is not dead as of yet, the 15th round of negotiations in New York shouts

250+ senior claims leaders under one roof, exchanging transformation strategy

The importance and the need of mobile technology in the health care system and in saving lives

MEPs share concerns about COVID-19 variants

Here’s how we can make innovation more inclusive

ECB settles the bank resolution issue, makes banking union tangible

Davos on Climate Change: citizens demanding more actions while CEOs tried to balance profit with sustainability

Coronavirus: Commission expands talks to a fifth vaccine manufacturer

A 3-step plan for carbon-neutral cars

COVID-19 Update: Solidarity and Joint Efforts Shall be the Main Theme For China and Europe in the Fight Against the Outbreak

2018 Golden Pen of Freedom Awarded to Maria Ressa of the Philippines

Trump badly cornered at home by agribusiness and steel consumer lobbies: Trade

As conflicts become more complex, ‘mediation is no longer an option; it is a necessity’, UN chief tells Security Council

European Youth Forum on Summit on Jobs and Growth

The European reaction to the neo-fascist wind

Venezuelan exodus to Ecuador reaches record levels: UN refugee agency steps up aid

MEPs debate Brexit and relations with China following EU spring summit

Brexit may finally not really happen; The Brits have second thoughts

COVID-19: lessons from Italy on public-private healthcare procurement

Mental health and social isolation: how do have an active participation in self-care?

Climate change and health: creating global awareness and using earth resources wisely

How cocoa farming can help stop deforestation

5 ways the ocean can contribute to a green post-COVID recovery

Trying to cure bank cancer with analgesics

How Islamic finance can build resilience to climate change

COVID-19: Why we must take the widescreen view of workforce uncertainty

Want a more inclusive society? Start with mobility

Mental Health: Role of the individual for their well-being in the pandemic

EU confronts environmental threats as global leaders attempt to revive the global sentiment at NYC climate week

‘Free state aid’ for imprudent banks

We need natural solutions to fight ocean and climate risk

With field schools in Kenya, UN agriculture agency teaches techniques to combat drought

It’s time to switch to a four-day working week, say these two Davos experts

Why building consumer trust is the key to unlocking AI’s true potential

What paleoecology can teach us about fires in the Amazon

UN ‘regrets’ new US position on legality of Israeli settlements

In Yemen, Special Envoy sees UN role in preserving ‘essential’ aid pipeline at country’s major port

Eurozone bank rescues ‘a la carte’ until 2015 then only bail-ins

Peacekeeping chief honours Tanzanian troops in Zanzibar, a year on from deadly DR Congo attacks

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s