5 Ways to Fight HIV Stigma by Building Your Skills Online

Contributing Editor
Be Strong

In-person trainings and conferences like Positive Living, the SPEAK UP! Summit for Women Living With HIV and HIV Is Not a Crime provide excellent opportunities for folks living with HIV to grow as advocates. But there are many reasons -- financial, health-related and otherwise -- why a trip away from home for a conference may not be possible.

Luckily, if you've got access to a computer with Internet, training opportunities are just a click away. Groups representing people living with and affected by HIV conduct top-notch web-based workshops geared toward building skills, fighting stigma and empowering people living with HIV. Check out the sample of trainings below and strengthen your advocacy skills online, anytime.

Using Greater Involvement of People With HIV/AIDS (GIPA) in Advocacy Efforts
(Webinar recording: 1 hour, 7 minutes; free login required)

What is GIPA, really? It's not just about providing people living with HIV opportunities to share their stories or even a seat at the planning meeting table; it's about making sure that any decision that affects the lives of people with HIV is shaped by people living with HIV.

This informative webinar was hosted by the U.S. People Living With HIV Caucus, a group of coalitions and individuals living with HIV who advocate for the rights of people living with HIV. The webinar recording features a presentation and conversation among HIV-positive advocates that breaks down the importance of GIPA and how to integrate this practice into community organizing projects. This full webinar recording includes all slides and audio of presenters and participants.

This detailed slide deck from AIDS United's Positive Organizing Project, which periodically funds advocacy projects specifically for and by people living with HIV, also addresses GIPA.

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Past and Current Webinars From Positive Women's Network -- USA (PWN-USA)

PWN-USA's mission is to prepare and involve all women living with HIV, in all their diversity, in all levels of policy and decision-making. Specialized trainings are the linchpin of that work. PWN-USA has amassed a remarkable collection of webinar recordings, facilitated by dynamic experts living with HIV and allies, on topics ranging from economic justice, to communications skills, to community organizing strategies.

In addition to browsing the archive, you can also keep up with PWN-USA's upcoming training opportunities.

The Counter Narrative Project: Discussing, Recording and Creating Culture for Black Gay Men

Based in Atlanta, but also serving a nationwide community, The Counter Narrative Project (CNP) seek to raise awareness around issues that affect black gay men -- including but by no means limited to HIV. CNP hosts monthly video conversations with experts via Google Hangout, featuring intriguing topics such as "Beyond the Clinical Narrative: Poetry as Public Health."

CNP has also captured logs of its Twitter-based chats focused on events and concepts relating to black gay culture, art, activism and community.

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WATCH! (Women's Advocacy and Treatment Coalition on HIV) by The Well Project (TWP)

The Well Project, which is dedicated to disseminating accurate and high-quality information about HIV to a global online community of women living with HIV, launched their WATCH! program in 2015. The program comprised a series of eight webinars, facilitated by women living with HIV and other experts, to share basic information and skills to support people living with HIV become HIV-treatment advocates.

WATCH! continues into 2016, and webinar recordings will be available for a limited time following the presentations. Several session recordings are already available: Check them out while they last!

While recordings for 2015 are no longer available, you can go to the list of 2015 trainings, click on the past webinar titles and view The Well Project's collection of slide decks on related topics.

Anti-Stigma Advocacy in HIV Prevention and Care: Sharing Lessons From Intersectional Movements
(Webinar recording: 1 hour)

"We can't have a public health movement that's going to lift up certain populations, and leave other populations behind." What can the HIV movement learn from Black Lives Matter activists and Queer DREAMers? The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), an organization that represents and trains public health officials about HIV and hepatitis, recorded a fascinating webinar looking at HIV services through a feminist and intersectional lens.