Updated: Positive Women's Network-United States of America Congratulates the PACHA for passing Criminalization Resolution
In observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Positive Women's Network -- USA (PWN-USA) urges the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) to pass resolution condemning HIV criminalization laws and end the pipeline of unjust incarceration of Black men and women living with HIV in the United States
Inspired by global networks of women living with HIV and supported by leaders in the United States, Positive Women's Network (PWN) was officially founded by 28 diverse women living with HIV in June of 2008. Its purpose was to create a unified voice and building collective power for HIV-positive women across the United States. When PWN was founded it was with the understanding and goal that one day it would transition from WORLD, an organization which provided a structural umbrella for U.S. Positive Women's Network to establish itself as an independent organization, in its own right.
As 2012 ends and 2013 begins, we are thankful for the incredible blessings and abundance this past year has brought.
This World AIDS Day, PWN and women and HIV advocates around the country advocated for an end to violence against women. Check out videos, articles, and interviews below! More to come in the next e-blast. Stay tuned!
The murder of Cicely Bolden on Sept. 6, 2012, both heightened and inflamed our sense of sadness and rage. It also reminded us of the often daily losing battle of violence that many in this country are silently entrenched in. This silence leaves them less able to believe that the end of the HIV epidemic includes them.
The U.S. Positive Women's Network (PWN), a national membership body of women living with HIV, is devastated to hear the tragic news that a young woman living with HIV in Dallas, Texas, was murdered for disclosing her HIV status to a partner. PWN calls for immediate action to eliminate HIV stigma and violence against women living with HIV.
It is Thursday July 26th, 2012. I am traveling back home to Peoria, Illinois after over a week in Washington, D.C., for the 2012 International AIDS Conference. I am sad to say that I did not even come CLOSE to doing, seeing, or learning all that I wanted to learn at AIDS 2012. That being said, I am full. Full of love for my fellow warriors, full of energy to battle my local community that continues to ignore the national movement and recognition that including those living with HIV strengthens their programs and gives them insight they would not otherwise have. And I am full of new information with which to drive points home when I am having conversations about HIV/AIDS. I am more armed with facts about the role of violence and trauma and the ways they intersect with HIV, I know more about the role and importance of drug users and sex workers in the conversation, and I know a lot more about condoms (doing a little inside cheer on that one!)!
One of the hottest topics of discussion at AIDS 2012 was that of HIV criminalization, both in the U.S. and internationally. Throughout the conference, there were multiple sessions, panels, and presentations on the topic -- which in turn led to a lot of discussion about it amongst the HIV+ participants of the conference.
As AIDS 2012 starts to draw to a close, I start to reflect back on my experiences this week and the one place of the conference which sticks out in my mind is the Global Village. It is an enormous space, filled with people, language, culture, and connection. It's the place where our communities come together and network with each other. It's where we connect; we recharge our emotional batteries, and learn together about how we are all fighting across the globe to bring about changes in this epidemic. The Global Village is a space filled with booths and exhibits and vendors from around the globe. There are also some stages where performances would be happening at all hours of the day by groups and artists from every corner of the world. It was truly an overwhelming experience to come down there for the first time during this conference and find that the whole world had converged upon one large room to share ideas and learn from one another.
After witnessing the devastating effects that HIV/AIDS had on their communities in Africa in the 1980s, and experiencing the multiple stresses that come with caring for someone on their deathbed, home-based caregivers recognized the need to combine their efforts, resources and expertise into a broader movement. They created the Home Based Care Alliance, which today represents over 31,000 volunteer caregivers in 11 African countries. The Alliance enables those groups that are already performing home-based care to gain recognition and self-representation at the local, national and international levels. Collectively, they are calling on their governments to recognize their crucial role in community development, to include them in policy design, to increase and redirect funding to the ground, and to establish an official role for home-based caregivers in international AIDS programs.
The Positive Women's Network of the United States of America (PWN-USA) is a network of HIV+ women and allies organizing and advocating for our rights -- and blogging all along the way.
If you are an HIV+ woman or support the rights of HIV+ women, join PWN-USA as a member or ally today!
Learn more about PWN-USA's mission and herstory, and how to get involved
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