GIPA, MIPA and the Denver Principles

The Denver Principles are the foundations of GIPA (the Greater Involvement of People living with HIV/AIDS) and MIPA (Meaningful Involvement of People Living with HIV).

The Denver Principles

We condemn attempts to label us as “victims,” a term which implies defeat, and we are only occasionally “patients,” a term which implies passivity, helplessness and dependence upon the care of others. We are “People With AIDS.”


  1. Support us in our struggle against those who would fire us from our jobs, evict us from our homes, refuse to touch us or separate us from our loved ones, our community or our peers, since available evidence does not support the view that AIDS can be spread by casual, social contact.
  2. Don’t scapegoat people with AIDS, blame us for the epidemic or generalize about our lifestyles.


  1. Form caucuses to choose their own representatives, to deal with the media, to choose their own agenda and to plan their own strategies.
  2. Be involved at every level of decision-making and specifically serve on the boards of directors of provider organizations.
  3. Be included in all AIDS forums with equal credibility as other participants, to share their own experiences and knowledge.
  4. Substitute low-risk sexual behaviors for those which could endanger themselves or their partners; we feel people with AIDS have an ethical responsibility to inform their potential sexual partners of their health status.


  1. To as full and satisfying sexual and emotional lives as anyone else.
  2. To quality medical treatment and quality social service provision without discrimination of any form, including sexual orientation, gender, diagnosis, economic status or race.
  3. To full explanations of all medical procedures and risks, to choose or refuse their treatment modalities, to refuse to participate in research without jeopardizing their treatment and to make informed decisions about their lives.
  4. To privacy, to confidentiality of medical records, to human respect and to choose who their significant others are.
  5. To die – and to LIVE – in dignity.




Began in 1994 as GIPA, The Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV, evolved over time to MIPA, Meaningful Involvement of People Living with HIV.

At its basics, it means two important things:

  1. To recognize the important contribution people living with HIV can make in the response to the epidemic, and
  2. To create space within society for our involvement and active
    participation in all aspects of that response.


The acronym “GIPA” was first orated during the preparatory meetings for the Paris AIDS Summit, held in December 1994. GIPA stands for the Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS coming directly from the text of the Declaration . The text suggests an initiative to strengthen the capacity of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA), networks of PLHA and community based organisations to participate fully at all – national, regional and global – levels, in particular stimulating the creation of supportive political, legal and social environments.

GIPA is not a project or programme. It is a principle that aims to realize the rights and responsibilities of people living with HIV, including their right to self-determination and participation in decision-making processes that affect their lives. In these efforts, GIPA also aims to enhance the quality and effectiveness of the AIDS response.

The idea that personal experiences should shape the AIDS response was first voiced by people living with HIV in Denver in 1983. The GIPA Principle was formalized at the 1994 Paris AIDS Summit when 42 countries agreed to “support a greater involvement of people living with HIV at all…levels…and to…stimulate the creation of supportive political, legal and social environments”.

The Paris Declaration 

Click here to read the UNAIDS Policy Breifing on GIPA; Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS.(PDF)

Vancouver Island Persons Living With HIV/AIDS Society (VPWAS) 205 - 1120 Yates Street, Coast Salish Territories, Victoria, BC. V8V 3M9
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