Association of people living with HIV [APLHIV]-Pakistan is a nationwide network of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS and associated Key Populations (KPs), which was founded in 2006. The APLHIV was formally registered in 2008, with its Federal Secretariat located at Islamabad. This was in response to the absence of an appropriate voice to address the rights and issues of marginalized people, provide a quality life to infected and affected people and KPs, to ensure the dignity of their lives and provide them with a vibrant platform to speak in unison without any discrimination of gender, age, colour, creed and religion. One of the objectives of the APLHIV encompasses to raise awareness among women and children, emphasizing their vulnerabilities, to provide meaningful opportunities to the women to be heard in unison throughout the country.

Need For POFEN

The HIV epidemic in Pakistan has moved from low prevalence to “Concentrated Prevalence”, which has resulted in adding up to people infected. This increasing trend has also left female without any exception. Now a major part of infected people consists of infected female, which is also the only cause of vertical transmission. Today a more concentrated effort is required to address the issues of Positive female and it becomes more needed in the absence of any platform for Positive female to share their issues, experiences, knowledge and a way forward. A body which can focus on to their rights, needs, issues, exchange information/knowledge/experiences, barriers to access treatment, care and support facilities, to unify their voices, carry out advocacy for them and to empower the Positive Female is dire need of time. Till date the APLHIV has over 550 registered females from across the country.

Keeping same in view, the APLHIV has decided to launch a “Positive Female Network” [POFEN] For Women (including girls) Living with & Affected by HIV” within the umbrella of the APLHIV. The idea has been supported by all the stakeholders and UNAIDS was kind to provide technical and financial support during the process. The APLHIV extends special thanks to UNAIDS, other UN Partners, NACP and all community based Organizations for their support to launch this network.


Mobilize Female leadership to influence policies, laws, programs, and funds and to promote actions that empower Females living with and affected by HIV.


The POFEN envisions a platform where Females living with and affected by HIV exercise their rights for healthy, dignified and respectful lives, and are leaders in addressing their issues tailored to their needs and rights, free of stigma, discrimination and violence.


Build capacity and foster the engagement of Female living with and affected by HIV to influence policy and decision-making processes, whilst promoting and upholding their rights and providing them a platform to speak in unison.


1. Positive Females are mobilized to speak in unison across the country about their issues and seek a way forward.

2. Positive Females are adequately empowered to contribute effectively to policy and decision making processes to uphold their rights.

3. To capacitate and enable the Female living with and affected by HIV to undertake advocacy and leadership for their issues.

4. Increase solidarity and communication among Female living with and affected by HIV to improve their knowledge and to share their experiences.

5. Facilitate accessibility of women (including girls) living with and affected by HIV to HIV medication and treatment literacy including educating them for positive women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Structure of Positive Female Network [POFEN]

The POFEN will consist of those Positive Females who are registered with the APLHIV; however it would equally be a plate form for non-registered Positive Female and Females affected by HIV. The network [POFEN] will work under the umbrella of the APLHIV. The Network would be led by a steering committee consisting of Positive Females from all over the country. The steering committee would be responsible for working for attainment of Mission, Vision, goals and objectives. The steering committee will consist of Five (5) members. One (1) member each from all four [4] provinces and one (1) member representing ICT, Kashmir, FATA and Gilgit Baltistan.

Selection Criteria For steering Committee

The selection criteria for the steering committee would be as appended below: –

1. Living with or/and affected by HIV.

2. Registered members of the APLHIV.

3. Positive Females who are at convenience to discuss their issues at various forums and can express themselves confidently in gatherings and possess reasonable knowledge about issues associated with HIV.

4. The steering committee would be on voluntary, a pro-bono basis and shall not charge any remuneration for their service other than traveling allowance and or per diem as per the policy of the APLHIV.

5. Tenure would be for a period of two (2) years.

6. Selection of the steering committee would be subjected to an approval by the Federal Executive Board of the APLHIV until a mechanism to elect the steering directly is in place.

7. Any of the employee or Board member of provincial or Federal Boards of the APLHIV shall be ineligible to become member of steering committee.

Role Of The APLHIV

The POFEN will work under the umbrella of APLHIV. Necessary amendments and review of existing policies and by laws shall be carried out accordingly. The APLHIV shall be responsible for capacitating the Steering Committee to meet the mission, vision and goals. The organizations/donors working for HIV and with and for women and girls in any capacity shall be requested for financial and technical support to sustain this group till accomplishment of its mission and goals. A full time Coordinator shall be hired to coordinate the activities. The Coordinator would be a Female who shall be appointed as per prescribed policies of the APLHIV through a competitive process and based on merit. The APLHIV shall be responsible to capacitate the Steering Committee and the Coordinator to meet the mission, vision and goals. The Advisory Board and other donors shall be approached for necessary technical and financial support to sustain the POFEN and Steering Committee.