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Rebecca Denison: Founder of WORLD

By Robert Breining

October 16, 2012

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Rebecca Denison

Rebecca Denison

On Sunday, Oct. 14 at 9 p.m. EST, we spoke with Rebecca Denison, the Founder of WORLD (Women Organized to Respond to Life-threatening Diseases). WORLD is an Oakland-based information, support and advocacy network for HIV-positive women and their loved ones.

In 1990, a month before she was scheduled to begin law school, Rebecca was diagnosed with HIV. In 1991, with support from her husband Daniel, Rebecca started the WORLD newsletter in her living room with a mailing list of 200. Six months later WORLD held its first retreat for HIV+ women, and a year later Rebecca helped start the International Community of Women Living With HIV/AIDS.

In 1995, Rebecca and Daniel decided to become parents, and in March 1996 their twin girls, Sophia and Sarah, were born, both HIV-free. Her children are now 16 years old and thriving, having recently attended the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., while she stayed home to work in Oakland. Her husband remains HIV negative. She has been living with HIV for 29 years.

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