Many current HIV programs ignore both the sexual needs of HIV-positive people and motherhood desires of HIV-positive women, said a group of positive women during the third Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights, held in Abuja, Nigeria, the week of February 4, reports the global news agency Inter Press Service (IPS)/ (, 2/8)

The women said that many initiatives that focus on prevention and treatment fail to acknowledge the fact that many HIV-positive people lead full, healthy lives and desire a fulfilling sex life, or want to have children.

“The epidemic has evolved. HIV-infected people are not dying; we are living and we are having sex,” Beatrice Were, an activist in Uganda for the Global AIDS Alliance, said in the article.

The women say that often times, health care workers are surprised when they find out that an HIV-positive person is interested in, or having, sex. “Health care workers try to force their moral values on other people, but in reality people will not stop having sex,” said Anne Ntombela, the International Community of Women Living With HIV/AIDS program director for South Africa. “They would be better served if they were told how to have safer sex, rather than not to engage in sex at all.”