Sample Letter to a Government Official
[Name of Government Official]
[Section of Government]
Dear [Title and Name of Official]:
As the world examines the achievements and challenges towards eradicating HIV/AIDS on this
World AIDS Day, we must take a critical look at the conflicting realities making women and
girls vulnerable to the perpetual face of HIV/AIDS. Access to treatment is extending the lives of
HIV-positive people in remarkable ways, and yet unwanted pregnancy among HIV-positive
women is on the rise. While incidents of HIV are declining in some African regions, women
continue to become infected through sexual transmission at alarmingly high rates. Unless steps
are taken to address their HIV/AIDS and sexual and reproductive health needs, women and girls
will remain the unwilling victims for this deadly epidemic.
Contrary to what some may think, marriage poses significant risk of HIV infection for women in
many parts of the world. In fact, more than eighty percent of new HIV infections in women
occur in marriage or in long-term relationships. Despite global recognition of the unique
vulnerabilities of women and girls to HIV infection, U.S. HIV prevention policy continues to
emphasize abstinence education ahead of tools, like condom use, that would better safe-guard
women’s health. Tragically, it also has all but abandoned its 40 year leadership of support for
international family planning. The vast amount of funding for HIV/AIDS prevention are rarely,
if ever, integrated with family planning and reproductive health programs that provide
desperately needed services to women and their families.
Only through financial and political support for the integration of HIV/AIDS and family
planning services do we give women and girls a true chance at survival. That would be
something to celebrate.
We urge you to support legislation providing integrated HIV/AIDS and family planning services.
[Title and Organization, if relevant]