Call for Submissions: Stories by and Experiences of Young Women and Adolescent Girls Living with HIV

Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YCSRR), in cooperation with Women Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR), the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) and members of the More Than Our Status Campaign, is welcoming young and passionate activists to raise awareness about the experiences of young women and girls living with HIV and sexual and reproductive health and rights in their communities.

We celebrate the advances that countries worldwide have made in recognizing the rights of young women and adolescent girls living with HIV. Despite progress, many of those living with HIV are still silenced and made invisible. This includes lesbian and bisexual women and girls, transgender people, people with disabilities, and others from marginalized communities. Young people living at the intersection of multiple oppressions face disproportionate discrimination, violence and violation of their rights, including sexual and reproductive health, because of their HIV positive status.

Submit Your Writing and/or Art

In recognition of the progress made and the challenges ahead, we invite young people (12-29 years old) to submit original writing and artwork (posters, infographics, pictures, postcards, videos, etc.) on the theme of Stories by and experiences of young women and adolescent girls* living with HIV”.

*Please note: all youth who identify as women, transgender, transfeminine, gender-variant, and genderqueer are invited to submit.

As many of you know, the YCSRR produces a youth-authored publication, the Watchdog, which is used as an advocacy tool targeting policy and decision makers at many international conferences and events that we attend. To mark World AIDS Day, YCSRR and our partners are organizing a special online edition of the Watchdog, which will be published on our websites and through our social media channels.

We aim to share the experiences of young women and adolescents facing discrimination because of their HIV status. This Watchdog will focus on the experiences and lives of young women and adolescents from diverse parts of the world who face discrimination, but also experiences of every kind, in relation to their everyday lives living with HIV.

The Watchdog will be launched on World AIDS Day on 1st of December 2015. As well as being considered for inclusion in the upcoming YCSRR Watchdog, selected submissions may be featured on the YCSRR website and/or used during the YCSRR social media campaign during World AIDS Day.

Suggested submission topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Stigma and Discrimination towards young women or adolescent girls living with HIV in relation to accessing sexual and reproductive health services, information and exercising their SRH rights
  • Sex and sexuality in relation to HIV
  • Challenges in your community related to HIV status and sexual health and rights
  • Family acceptance
  • Access to medication
  • The criminalization of HIV in your community, country or region

Each participant can submit up to three images, videos or pieces of writing. The format of image files must be JPG. Videos should not exceed a length of three minutes and must meet the requirements found here.

Submission Requirements:

  • All content must be original with all necessary copyright permissions. Content with copyright violations (including but not limited to background music used without permission or copyrighted images appearing in photograph/video) will not be considered.
  • Entries submitted after the deadline will not be considered.
  • All entries must align with the YCSRR Principles and Values. Entries with homophobic, anti-choice or otherwise discriminatory content will not be considered, without exception.
  • Submissions from both professionals and non-professionals are welcome.
  • All content submitted must be created entirely by a person or group of people aged 12-29, without exception.
  • Please include your full name, country of citizenship/residence and date of birth with your submission.
  • Submissions may be submitted and/or published under a pseudonym to allow for confidentiality.

Deadline for Submissions:

Please send your submissions to with the subject line “HIV Watchdog Submission” no later than November 1st, 2015.

The Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YCSRR) is an international organization of young people (ages 18-29 years) committed to promoting adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive rights at the national, regional and international levels. We are students, researchers, lawyers, health care professionals, educators, development workers, and most importantly: we are all dedicated activists.

The Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) is a southern-based global network that builds and strengthens movements for sexual and reproductive health, rights (SRHR) and justice. Our work is grounded in the realities of those who most lack economic, social and political power. We work to realize the full sexual and reproductive health and rights of all people, with a particular focus on the most marginalized.

The International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) exists to lead efforts towards securing and improving the quality of life for women living with HIV. We do this by mobilizing, organizing, advocating, mentoring and raising consciousness on the issues that directly impact our lives. Since 1992, ICW has been the only global for and by network of women living with HIV. ICW supports and mentors young women through the ICW Chapter for Young Women, Adolescents and Girls.

More Than Our Status Campaign is a global collective of young women activists from the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and HIV communities. Together we support the efforts of a Nigerian coalition (SHEWE) of activists that work to build a strong, inclusive SRHR movement that fully addresses the needs of women living with HIV. Supported by the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) and the Women’s Global Network on Reproductive Rights (WGNRR), funded through STOP AIDS NOW!. From now until World AIDS Day, December 1, 2015, the project will support the work that we as networks of women activists are doing in Nigeria and around the world. Our collective builds off the work that we do in our home countries, which we then bring to and share at the global level.

Special note: The submissions to this edition of the Watchdog reflect the individual contributor’s expression of this topic and are only those of the individual. The submissions are not necessarily reflective of the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YCSRR), the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR), or the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW).