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U.S. Positive Women's Network Responds to the Murder of Cicely Bolden

September 20, 2012

Official Statement

"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.

"On Thursday, September 6th, 28-year old Cicely Bolden was brutally stabbed to death after disclosing her HIV status to a sexual partner. Bolden's body was found by her two young children later that day when they came home from school ..."

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Leaders Speak

Kat Griffith

Are We Really That Different From Cicely Bolden?
By Kat Griffith, from The Feminist Wire

"I will go ahead and take the unpopular, but needed step to state that there are many -- too many -- HIV-positive women whose lives are endangered. Studies have shown that HIV-positive women experience a greater degree of violence upon disclosure than men. And yet, many HIV-specific programs, policies, decision-makers, and communities tend to generalize experiences of all people living with HIV and operate on an assumption that people have the same ability to negotiate safer sex or even have conversations around sex at all."

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Precious Jackson

She Didn't Deserve to Die
By Precious Jackson, from The Feminist Wire

"I'm saddened to hear about Cicely Bolden's murder at the hand of her intimate partner when this did not need to happen. [...] Maybe she didn't feel comfortable enough to disclose her status earlier. Maybe she felt she would be stigmatized, judged, and/or looked upon as 'damaged goods,' [...] Maybe Cicely and her partner had protected sex, which can significantly reduce HIV transmission. Maybe Cicely was on treatment [...] Maybe Cicely had bad experiences disclosing her status in the past and was still stigmatized."

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