A First Step

College faculty take on HIV-related stigma

ICRW's Priti Prabhughate writes about helping to train professors from a Catholic college in India on how to teach students about HIV and the stigma that many people living with the virus face.

For three days earlier this year, a few of my colleagues and I gave a training workshop on how to reduce stigma against people living with HIV. What made the training especially unique was that our audience included priests and nuns.

ICRW at AIDS Conference: Katherine Fritz to Address Social Inequities and HIV

Thu, 07/26/2012

Katherine Fritz, who directs ICRW’s global health research and programs, will participate today on a panel about structural interventions for HIV prevention. The event is part of the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. this week.

International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) Director of Global Health Katherine Fritz will participate today in a panel discussion about approaches to preventing HIV that consider the social, political and economic inequities – or “structural drivers” – that influence the AIDS epidemic.

The event is part of the International AIDS Conference this week in Washington, D.C., and will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Mini Room 3 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center downtown. 

Titled “Pushing Forward with Structural Interventions for HIV Prevention – Where We Are Now and How Do We Move Forward,” the panel is sponsored by AIDSTAR-One, the United States Agency for International Development and STRIVE, a new research consortium in which ICRW is a partner. 

During the panel, Fritz is expected to draw on a growing body of ICRW research that analyzes the link between alcohol consumption and increased HIV risk.

ICRW’s Anne Stangl to Discuss HIV-related Stigma at AIDS Conference

Mon, 07/23/2012

ICRW’s Anne Stangl will speak on the challenges posed by HIV-related stigma and efforts underway globally to address the issue during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C.  

ICRW Senior Behavioral Scientist Anne Stangl on July 24 will be a panelist for a discussion on the challenges posed by HIV-related stigma and discrimination and the innovative solutions underway globally to address the issue. 

The event is being hosted by the Stigma Action Network and is part of the International AIDS Conference this week at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The discussion will take place from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in booth 810 at the Positive Action Networking Zone in the conference’s Global Village

Stangl and panelists will provide attendees with an understanding of the varied forms of HIV-related stigma and discrimination, how they fuel the epidemic, the unique challenges faced by key populations, and what to do to reduce stigma. Panelists also will highlight proven approaches for incorporating stigma reduction efforts into HIV programs, new evidence about stigma and how the Stigma Action Network is working to reduce HIV-related stigma. 

Learn how you can partner with ICRW.

ICRW’s Jennifer McCleary-Sills to Speak at AIDS Conference

Mon, 07/23/2012

ICRW’s Jennifer McCleary-Sills will discuss how to address young people’s vulnerability to HIV in developing countries during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C.

ICRW Social and Behavioral Scientist Jennifer McCleary-Sills on July 24 will participate in a panel discussion on how to strengthen the capacity of organizations to understand and address gender issues, HIV and AIDS in their communities. 

The event is part of the International AIDS Conference this week in Washington, D.C., and will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in mini room 8 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center downtown. 

McCleary-Sills will discuss approaches ICRW used to guide two Tanzanian groups on how to engage with and mobilize communities to understand and address teenage girls’ vulnerability to HIV. Her presentation will draw from ICRW’s experience designing and evaluating the pilot project, "Vitu Newala,” which took place from 2010 to 2011 in a remote Tanzanian district. The effort was funded by the Positive Action program at ViiV Healthcare, a pharmaceutical company that focuses solely on HIV. 

The following day, McCleary-Sills will participate in a discussion in the Positive Action Networking Zone of the Global Village on how to involve adolescents in HIV prevention programs, and explain why programs targeting girls must also involve boys. That event is scheduled for 11 a.m. on July 25.

Learn how you can partner with ICRW.

AIDS2012: Thought Leaders to Discuss Social Inequities Fueling Epidemic

ICRW co-hosts panel discussion to launch new global research consortium
Mon, 07/23/2012

ICRW on July 24 will co-host an event to launch STRIVE, a new global research consortium investigating how to address social inequities that continue to drive the AIDS epidemic. The discussion is part of this week’s International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C.

The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) on July 24 will co-host an event to launch a new global research consortium that will focus on investigating how to best address social inequalities that drive HIV.  The event is part of this week’s International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. 

Called STRIVE, the consortium is made up of six partners, including ICRW in Washington, D.C., and its Asia regional office in New Delhi, India, as well as other organizations from Tanzania, India and South Africa. The six-year effort is funded by the UK Department for International Development and managed by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. 

“STRIVE represents an opportunity to build more evidence for what our research at ICRW has long shown—that a biomedical approach alone will not slow the rate of HIV infection throughout the world,” said Katherine Fritz, director of ICRW research and programs in global health. “It’s imperative that we also tackle the sometimes unseen but powerful forces at play – like poverty and gender inequality – that continue to make people more vulnerable to HIV and impede their access to critical treatment and prevention services.” 

The official kick off of STRIVE will include an introduction to the partner organizations and a panel discussion with leaders from around the world who are engaged in efforts to craft HIV programs that respond to the social, economic and political forces shaping the epidemic. 

STRIVE will aim to understand how forces such as gender inequality and violence, poor job prospects, stigma, and social norms around alcohol consumption fuel the AIDS epidemic – as well as undermine the effectiveness of HIV treatment and prevention programs. Researchers also will investigate what programs are effectively tackling these social, political and economic factors and how they can be expanded affordably. Finally, experts will determine how best to translate the STRIVE research into policy and on-the-ground programs. 

“If we intend to eliminate HIV from the planet,” Fritz said, “we have to design innovative programs that address these macro-level drivers of HIV risk by linking and engaging with development sectors outside of health.” 

Globally, there has been a resurgence in biomedical approaches – such as antiretroviral treatment as a prevention tool and medical male circumcision – to address the HIV epidemic.  At the same time, the global economic downturn has amplified calls to streamline HIV programs by concentrating funding into programs with proven impact. This has caused some governments and donor agencies to shy away from investing in multi-sectoral programs to address structural influences on the epidemic. Few of these types of programs have rigorous evidence of effectiveness. 

“This is why ICRW and its STRIVE partners believe that generating evidence to support the viability of addressing how social, political and economic issues in HIV programming is more important than ever,” Fritz said. 

Although ICRW’s specific contribution to STRIVE is still being finalized, Fritz suggested that ICRW could build on an existing body of work that examines the links between high alcohol consumption and HIV transmission. Under the consortium, researchers from ICRW’s Washington office also may address how to reduce stigma that inhibits pregnant women living with HIV from using services that could prevent transmission of the virus to their babies. 

Meanwhile, researchers based in New Delhi will expand Parivartan, an ICRW program for boys focused on changing norms around masculinity and violence against women. The expanded approach will now incorporate girls, and links between gender norms and violence, substance and alcohol use, sexuality and HIV. Under STRIVE, ICRW researchers also will document the adaptation and implementation of a stigma-reduction framework into five key sectors to advocate for a possible integration into India’s National AIDS Control Policy. 

Related content: Commentary: Getting to Zero

Gillian Gaynair is ICRW’s senior writer and editor.

Underage: Addressing Reproductive Health and HIV in Married Adolescents

July 30, 2014

Suzanne Petroni, ICRW's Senior Director of Gender, Population, and Development joins colleagues at the Wilson Center to discuss issues married adolescents face, including challenges in addressing reproductive health needs and HIV.


Suzanne Petroni
Senior Director of Gender, Population, and Development, International Center for Research on Women

Doris Bartel
Senior Director of Gender and Empowerment, CARE

Elizabeth Berard
Health Science Specialist, U.S. Agency for International Development 

Callie Simon
Technical Advisor for Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health, Pathfinder

Sandeep Bathala (moderator)
Senior Program Associate, Wilson Center

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Woodrow Wilson Center at the Ronald Reagan Building
1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC
United States
The Woodrow Wilson Center

Combating Challenges Facing Adolescent Girls Living with HIV in Zambia

Around the world, adolescent girls remain at high risk for acquiring HIV because of social and institutional factors, including child marriage and gender-based violence. UNICEF estimated there were at least 80,000 adolescents living with HIV in Zambia in 2009. The encouraging growth of home-based and provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling will likely increase the number of adolescent girls who learn they are living with HIV in upcoming years. As a result, there will likely be an increased demand for treatment, care and support services in Zambia. Despite this burgeoning demographic of young Zambians living with HIV, psychosocial support and health care services for adolescent girls is limited. This deficit is worsened by the prevalence of HIV-related stigma and discrimination, as well as gender-based prejudice that affects the daily lives of girls living with HIV.

In an effort to address this gap in services, ICRW, in partnership with Zambart, will conduct a qualitative study in Zambia looking at the challenges adolescent girls living with HIV face as they transition to adulthood. With support from the MAC AIDS Fund, this research will study the unique stigma- and gender-related obstacles girls endure while facing some of the challenges of living with HIV such as adhering to medication regimens and clinical appointments, navigating safe sexual relationships, and handling the psychosocial challenges of learning of and disclosing their status. Through participatory workshops and interviews, ICRW will identify key challenges and stigma-related concerns surrounding HIV and pinpoint areas for intervention development to support healthy transitions to adulthood for these girls.

With this information, ICRW hopes to inform national programming and policies for adolescent girls living with HIV in Zambia. Beyond that, ICRW hopes this study will garner increased attention and action to address the needs and concerns of adolescents living with HIV around the world, with a particular focus on addressing HIV-related stigma and discrimination.


Priti Prabhughate

Technical Specialist, Gender and HIV

Dr. Priti Prabhughate is a Senior Technical Specialist at the International Center for Research on Women’s (ICRW), Asia Regional Office. In this role, she functions as a thematic lead on HIV-related research, by designing studies on HIV and parallel topics such as stigma and discrimination. She also provides technical support across teams in managing projects, developing tools, and supporting data evaluation and analysis.  

Priti has more than seven years of research experience in the fields of HIV/AIDS, sexuality, stigma and discrimination, gender-based violence and sexual health – with a special focus on working with sexual minority communities in India. She has experience in building capacity, designing and conducting research with community researchers using participatory learning tools, and using evidence to conduct advocacy with stakeholders, such as health providers and law enforcement.

Priti also brings extensive training in psychology and social work, which equips her with a psychosocial perspective in understanding various phenomena. Her training in human behavior and application of its various theories to research helps her conceptualize research topics in a broad ecological framework. It is this aspect of her work that she is most enthusiastic about since it allows her to conceptualize, plan and analyze all of her research activities at multiple levels from the individual to the community level to the structural level.

ICRW’s approach to women’s empowerment is particularly resonant for Priti as a researcher. Her various research projects on HIV and on stigma in particular, have framed gender as a structural factor that disempowers women and discriminates against women at multiple levels.

Prior to joining ICRW in 2011, Priti worked with the Mumbai community-based organization Humsafar Trust, a male sexual health agency that seeks to prevent HIV among the gay, bisexual and transgender population. She functioned in multiple roles during her professional career at Humsafar, from counselor to ultimately leading the research unit at Humsafar Trust, where she played a pivotal role in guiding setting up IRB at the organization and developing proposals to international donors for research on sexual minority communities.

During her career, Priti has worked with international donors such as the National Institutes of Mental Health and United Nations Development Program as well as Indian government departments such as the National AIDS Control Organization and local partners, including Humsafar Trust, Swasti and St. Xavier’s College.

Contact Priti at pprabhughate@icrw.organd follow her on Twitter @pritiprabhughate


HIV and AIDS, Violence Against Women, Advocacy and Policy Engagement

Languages Spoken: 

English (fluent), Hindi (fluent), Marathi (fluent), Konkani (fluent). Kannada (proficient), Gujarati (proficient) and German (proficient). 


Priti holds a doctorate in social work from the University of Illinois-Chicago and a master’s in social work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai. She also holds a master’s in psychiatric social work from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences in Bangalore, and a bachelor’s in psychology from Mumbai University.

Sancheeta Ghosh

Image Place Holder
Technical Specialist

Sancheeta Ghosh is a Technical Specialist at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). In this capacity, she manages several projects, providing technical support and implementing research and program activities. Ghosh conducts literature reviews, manages and analyzes data, synthesizes research findings and develops research publications for a range of audiences. Ghosh has more than six years of experience conducting academic, operations and participatory research, including in monitoring and evaluation, in the areas of health, women’s empowerment and gender based violence.

Prior to joining ICRW Ghosh worked as a Research Coordinator for KHPT, Bangalore; as a Senior Research Officer at the Institute of Health Management and Research (IHMR), Bangalore; and as a Programme and Training Associate with CINI, West Bengal . She also worked as a Research Officer and Research Investigator at the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai.  


Gender-based Violence and Reproductive Health, Maternal Health, HIV/AIDS, Gender and Masculinity, Development and Population issues 

Languages Spoken: 

Bengali (native), English (fluent), Hindi (fluent)


Ghosh holds a doctorate degree in development studies from the Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore, a master’s degree in demography from IIPS and a master’s in anthropology from the University of Calcutta, West Bengal. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Calcutta in Anthropology. 

Ranajit Sengupta

Technical Specialist

Ranajit Senguptais Technical Specialist at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). In this role Sengupta closely works with ICRW researchers and partner organizations in the design and evaluation of research projects.  Sengupta has particular expertise in maternal and child health, family planning and HIV/AIDS, having worked on more than 10 national and state level research studies in these areas.  

Prior to joining ICRW Sengupta was the National Research Manager with India’s National AIDS Control Organization’s Technical Support Group. There he was responsible for conceptualizing and executing research studies and developing the Annual Research Plan and Budget. Sengupta also coordinated the hiring of research agencies for quantitative and qualitative data collection and the dissemination of research findings to stakeholders, including the government, donor and NGO communities. 


Maternal and Child Health, Family Planning, HIV/AIDS

Languages Spoken: 

English, Hindi and Bengali


Sengupta has a master’s degree in population studies from the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai, and presently is pursuing a doctorate from the Gokhale Institute for Politics and Economics (GIPE), Pune. 

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