Spotlight on Sonia Rastogi: Women Making a Difference


Sonia Rastogi is a Community Advisory Board member for The Well Project and is currently the Special Project's Manager with the Women's Protection and Empowerment Unit at International Rescue Committee in New York, NY. She previously worked with Positive Women's Network – USA, a network of fierce advocates.

What is the goal of your advocacy work? Do you have a specific focus?

The goal of my advocacy work is to ensure that there is a basic standard of humanity, dignity and respect given to all people, especially the most marginalized. I focus on women and girls because I am passionate about addressing gender inequalities and the conditions that increase vulnerability such as HIV status, disability, class, immigration status, gender identity and sexual orientation, among others.

Do you think HIV positive women face unique challenges? What are they?

Women and girls living with HIV in the United States and globally often lie at the crisscross intersections of race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, political disenfranchisement and geography. In the United States, the epidemic among women and girls is staggering in Deep South states; these states also contend with controversial voter identification regulations and poor health infrastructure. Violence against women and girls can increase after diagnosis as well. In Malawi, I frequently heard about women being forced out of their homes when they disclosed their status or girls engaging in sex work to make ends meet. These patterns are all too familiar in my own country and around the globe. Significant strides in service delivery and policies have been made due to committed grassroots women's groups, coalitions and networks, the people living with HIV movement, dedicated funders and a dedicated workforce. Yet, services and policies writ large still deprioritize the needs of women and girls, especially those living with HIV.

What advice or information would you offer a woman newly diagnosed with HIV?

In your own time and when you are ready, reach out to other women living with HIV, women-friendly HIV clinics or providers, organizations with specific women and HIV programming, women living with HIV networks or another person that you trust. Oftentimes, this connection can help you cope, can look out for you, can develop into friendship and community, can assist in advocating for you at the doctor's office and can lead you to building your life in a way that works for you.

By the same token, I would push advocates and service providers to fill the core social support, economic and educational gaps that are often the missing link for women and girls to build their lives.

What difference has The Well Project made in your life and work?

Over the years, The Well Project has been a constant source of reliable information on health, treatment, prevention, living well, families, mental health, getting back to work and a ton of other issues critical to the lives of women living with HIV. Furthermore, I've seen The Well Project develop a global community and communication interface for women living with HIV around the world that transforms how we think and talk about HIV. To me, The Well Project has given me high-quality tools to advocate for women living with HIV and a platform to stand on.


This commentary from Sonia

Stephanielfl's picture

This commentary from Sonia inspires me to work each day harder for the women we serve at our agency. Thank you


My concern

Livelonger75's picture

As you know that am a man I will continue here because I have nowhere to go and by the way am HIV+ in my area we lucky something like this, if you need help in expanding this campaign please let me know I will be very happy to help.


the man that help me cure my HIV

mary kathy's picture


my name is Mary Kathy From Texas . i am here to share a testimony on now i was cure from HIV through the help of DR.OGUMEN i was an HIV patient for over 5years looking for how to cure the virus disease.i want to different professionals doctors who gave me different medicine to cure the virus still it did  not work. i even try some traditional herber medicine. i decided to look for help else where by going to the internet to look for how i can get rid for the virus disease when i come across a lot of many testimony about a particular spell caster who can cure different virus diseases with his spell. some testify that he can cure
{1}HIV and AIDS
{4} Blood Cancer         
{5} He Can Make you get Pregnancy
{6.} HPV
{7} ALS
{8} Hepatitis
{9} Diabetes
{10}Love Spell
and lot more with his spell .i also come across a particular testimony about one woman on how she was cure from HIV by this same spell caster. At first i did not believe but i decided to give it a try,  To my greatest surprise after i contacted him and he help me to cure the virus disease with his powerful spell, After which i went to the hospital to confirm, i was told by the doctor that i am HIV negative. Thanks to DR.GOUMEN who help me cure my virus disease. i will not stop publishing him because  he is a wonderful man and he  has brought joy in my life. If you have same problem and you are looking for who can help you in what ever virus disease you have, you can contact him through his email address:  



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HIV 102: How HIV Impacts the Immune System, CD4 Cells and Viral Load was the third in our eight-week webinar series that offers women living with HIV capacity building and training on HIV disease and treatment advocacy.

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