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PWNers Assert and Celebrate #BodilyAutonomy on #NWGHAAD

March 17, 2017

For National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (#NWGHAAD), PWNers from coast to coast hosted and participated in events, in person and online, raising awareness and educating our communities about HIV and its impact on women and girls and asserting the bodily autonomy of women living with HIV. Check out their events and see a slideshow of photos from the events on our website!

Bodily Autonomy: A Framework to Guide Our Future

March 9, we released Bodily Autonomy: A Framework to Guide Our Future, which explains the simple but radical concept of bodily autonomy as a critical framework for understanding and fighting back against the intensifying, oppressive attacks on women, people of color, immigrants, trans and gender-nonconforming folks, Muslims, LGB folks and people with chronic health conditions. We also hosted a webinar breaking down what the attacks on bodily autonomy mean for different people -- if you missed it or would like to share it, you can find the recording here!

March 10, National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we continued the conversation about #BodilyAutonomy on Twitter using the hashtags #BodilyAutonomy and #NWGHAAD. If you missed the Twitter chat, check out our quick-and-dirty recap here!

Join Us in the Fight to Protect Our Care!

By now, you have probably heard a little (or a lot) about the new health care bill being pushed through the House of Representatives by Republicans as part of their effort to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Protect HIV Care: Oppose the Repeal!

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill:

  • May cause 14 million people to lose coverage from their current insurance by next year.
  • May leave an additional 24 million people without coverage by 2026.
  • Would likely leave 52 million people uninsured compared to projections of 28 million uninsured under the ACA (86 percent increase).
  • Would increase insurance premiums by 15 to 20% in the individual marketplace in 2018 and 2019, but then would lower the average cost in the years after that, compared to current law.
  • Would result in 14 million fewer Medicaid enrollees by 2026; most losing Medicaid coverage would remain uninsured.
  • Would most impact older, lower-income people.

The good news is that a number of Republican Members of Congress (as well as most or all Democratic Members of Congress) have expressed concern about the bill or outright promised to vote against it -- many after hearing from many vocal constituents. We can influence the outcome of this disastrous bill!

Please join us in calling our Members of Congress next Tuesday, March 21 and telling them to #ProtectOurCare and vote NO on repeal of the ACA! Just call toll-free 866-246-9371 on Tuesday to hear a sample script and then be patched through to your representative in Congress!

RSVP for the National HIV Call-In Day on Facebook to get more info and reminders!

If you lead or work with an organization that will mobilize its members/clients to participate in this call-in day, please sign up here!

Stand With Casa Ruby

Stand With Casa Ruby

Casa Ruby is the only bilingual, multicultural LGBT organization providing life-saving services and programs to the most vulnerable in Washington, D.C.'s LGBT community. They provide hot meals, clothing, support groups, case management, emergency housing referrals and legal services to homeless and unstably-housed transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) folks who might otherwise have nowhere else to turn. They also provide education, training and job placement services.

Sunday, their front door was smashed and an employee was assaulted by an individual who had already been asked to leave for harassing and threatening clients and staff.

This is just one more individual incidence of violence against the TGNC community in a year that's on track to be the deadliest on record for women of trans experience. We cannot and will not tolerate violence and harassment against the most vulnerable among us. Please stand with Casa Ruby by making a donation -- whatever you can afford -- to help them make D.C. safer for the TGNC community.

Learn, Grow and Make Change with PWN-USA

At Positive Women's Network - USA, we are serious about organizing and about standing up for human rights. 2017 is full of attacks on so many of our communities -- and an attack on one of us is an attack on all. We are committed to empowering our members with the knowledge, skills, tools and resources they need to effect real change, even -- and especially -- in today's tempestuous political climate. We invite our members to join us for these two upcoming webinars exploring intersectional issues and opening up paths to action -- and we invite all members and allies to stay abreast of the issues with our new monthly #HIVResists Policy Update and to make their voices heard with our weekly Action Alerts.

Wed., March 22, 12:30 PM EDT -- Political Education 101: Coming Out of Our Comfort Zone
Join us for a detailed (and timely) refresher on political systems, structures and how to effectively engage in (and create change in) the system we have. Register here.

Thurs., March 30, 4:00 PM EDT -- Language, Power and Privilege When Talking About Race
An affinity group of white women living with HIV committed to identifying and addressing racism in themselves and their communities formed at the 2016 SPEAK UP! Summit, and is now executing an anti-racism curriculum, including this webinar series. Join us for the second webinar as we look at how the language we hear and use reinforces damaging stereotypes and prejudices, fueling and perpetuating white supremacy in the U.S. Register here.


Staying Positive: Women Living with HIV Speak Out Against Stigma

At the beginning of this year, we rolled out two first videos in a fabulous series produced by women living with HIV and advocates in Colorado as part of a collaboration between PWN-USA Colorado, the StoryCenter and the Empowerment Program. Learn more about the Staying Positive Project here.

Here is Alexendia's story.

There's no place like home. I don't even have ruby red slippers, let alone a home. Just like Dorothy I am Kansas-born and grown. But all these years later, I'm still searching for my home. But what is a home?...It's been exactly one year since I lost my home. For 15 years I tried to hold on...HIV has never defined me, but it certainly has refined me...A home is more than just walls. A home is security, community, family and support. I'm learning to love the home I'm building and the one that's already within me.

-- Alexendia Abrams

Read Alexendia's blog post on Bodily Autonomy here!

More From This Resource Center

Newly Diagnosed? Words of Encouragement from HIV-Positive Women

What Every HIV-Positive Woman Should Know About GYN Care and Prevention

Related Stories

Brave Women! Protect Yourself and Those You Love!
Empowering Women With HIV: An Interview With Activist Naina Khanna
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

This article was provided by Positive Women's Network of the United States of America. Visit PWN-USA's website to find out more about their activities and publications.

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See Also
Newly Diagnosed? Words of Encouragement from HIV-Positive Women
What Did You Expect While You Were Expecting?
HIV Tools You Can Use