Presentations now available!

Increasing HIV Health Literacy to Achieve an AIDS-Free Generation in the United States: 2015 Webinar Series

To stay healthy, women living with HIV and women vulnerable to HIV require services from a health literate and culturally competent workforce. Often times it is the front-line (greeters, receptionists) and community (outreach worker, educators, community health workers and case managers) of community-based HIV organizations that these women come in contact with first before seeing primary and specialty care staff. Their understanding of the science of HIV is critically important for prevention, care and treatment. The goal of our four-part webinar series is to improve linkage and retention to care for women by improving HIV-related health literacy among employees at women-led and focused community-based HIV organizations (CBHO) and programs across the U.S. and its territories.

For more information and to access the presentation slide decks click here: Capacity Building

The Challenge of “Getting to Zero”

Getting to zero new HIV infections is a laudable goal hampered by
the Sequester’s destruction of our HIV service delivery system and fragile social net.

The Challenge of Getting to Zero

NWAC Observes 2013 Women’s and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

In Observation of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day the National Women and AIDS Collective (NWAC) Launches Survey to Help Women Focused Organizations Continue Work to Save the Lives of Vulnerable Women, Families and Communities

Here at home in the United States, as HIV/AIDS continues to adversely affect women, gender-specific strategies aimed at redefining service delivery systems and social norms are needed to empower women’s ability to achieve better health and social outcomes for themselves and their families. Policy mandates and social determinants (of health) can impact not just service delivery but can also affect a woman’s probability of acquiring HIV. Greater improvements in gender specific health and social outcomes can be achieved by not only reviewing key policy mandates and select social determinants (of health) but by also ensuring that women focused organizations are strong and viable. With the HIV incidence starting to drop in women, now is not the time to divest the few resources that have been targeted to women. Now is the time to ramp up the investment in women focused organizations and gender-specific solutions that will continue to abate the spread of HIV infection among women and girls living in the United States.

Therefore, in observance of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the National Women and AIDS Collective (NWAC) demands gender equity in how HIV services are planned for, funded and delivered in this country. Strategies include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Ensuring that all women, including undocumented and immigrant women, are able to access HIV-specific services under the Affordable Care Act and public health initiatives funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), other relevant federal agencies, state and local health departments.
  • Reforming the community planning processes so that women obtain their fair share of funding for essential services that will enable women to get and stay in care.
  • Developing prevention messages that address the broad systemic barriers impacting women.
  • Disseminating realistic information addressing increased vulnerabilities of women in the HIV/AIDS epidemic that are not specifically categorized as high-risk behaviors.
  • Developing regional and national HIV epidemiological profiles that accurately portray women’s vulnerabilities to HIV infection.
  • Preparing women to lead via leadership development programs (including education, training, and practice) and role modeling opportunities.

Working towards the goal of gender equity, the National Women and AIDS Collective (NWAC) has developed a survey to assess barriers, challenges, and distinctive issues faced by women focused organizations who are engaged in saving the lives of vulnerable women, families and communities. NWAC will use the results of the survey to advocate for policy changes that will enable women focused organizations to thrive and sustain themselves during these tough economic times and for funding to serve women in need of quality HIV-related health services. The survey is accessible at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9FCYY9Z.

NWAC to Help Women-led and Serving Organizations Play a Key Role in “Getting to Zero”

WASHINGTON, DC; November 28, 2012 — In observance of World AIDS Day on December 1, 2012, the National Women and AIDS Collective (NWAC) implores those who care about women to acknowledge and support the role that women-led and serving organizations can play in “Getting to Zero.” Advances in treatment and prevention can help us achieve zero new infections for the next generation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at some point in her lifetime, 1 in 139 women will be diagnosed with HIV infection. Black and Hispanic/Latina women are at increased risk of being diagnosed with HIV infection (1 in 32 black women and 1 in 106 Hispanic/Latina women will be diagnosed with HIV). The majority of these cases are among women of color the majority of whom live in poverty and are responsible for children under the age of 18 years of age. Liz Brosnan, NWAC’s Chair and Executive Director for Christie’s Place (San Diego, CA) states that “although it is well understood that the intersection of multiple factors contribute to the spread of HIV infection among women, underfunded
public health mandates and funding cuts to vital health and social services weakens the ability of women-led and serving organizations to provide needed services.”

As HIV/AIDS continues to adversely affect women, here at home in the U.S., gender-specific strategies aimed at redefining service delivery systems and social norms are needed to empower women’s ability to achieve better health and social outcomes for themselves and their families. Policy mandates and social determinants (of health) can impact not just service delivery but can also affect an individual’s probability of acquiring HIV. Greater improvements in gender-specific health and social outcomes can be achieved by reviewing key policy mandates and select social determinants (of health). But as noted by Sylvia Lopez, Program Manager for the Women Rising Project (Austin, TX), “these efforts will not be successful without the involvement of women-led and serving community based organizations and programs.”

National efforts have been successful in advocating for policies and funding that recognizes and addresses the distinct needs of women. This has been done by ensuring the involvement of women in leadership and funding decisions. As a member and supporter of these efforts, NWAC believes these efforts can be supported by advocating for a parallel action aimed at providing women-led organizations and programs with the training and tools necessary to thrive in this changing public health environment.

Therefore, in observance of World AIDS Day, NWAC announces a game-changing webinar series,Sisters in Service, for women-serving organizations and programs which will enable them to assess and consider how HIV services are planned and delivered to achieve the greatest health outcomes for women and their families. To learn more about Sisters in Service contact Vanessa Johnson, National Coordinator, NWAC.

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World AIDS Day was established in 1988 by the World Health Organization (WHO). NWAC was founded in 2005 and is a national network of women-led organizations and organizations with women-led and focused programs working on behalf of women living with and affected by HIV/AIDS in the United States.

Presentations by Our Members at AIDS 2012

How Trauma Drives the HIV Epidemic Among Women
The U.S. Positive Women’s Network, a project of NWAC Member WORLD, is holding a press conference on breaking new research that will be released at AIDS 2012 on the impact of violence on women’s health outcomes, solutions from women openly living with HIV, and a call to action for U.S. federal decision-makers from nationally-recognized advocates on HIV and violence against women.

When: Monday, July 23rd, 10:00 a.m.
Where: Washington D.C. Convention Center, Media Center’s Press Conference Room 3.

The State of New Media and HIV
New media has created opportunities for HIV service providers to work beyond their doors and their communities. These tools have allowed NWAC Member Iris House to reach women and men, young and old, in a way that would never be possible given limited resources. They are able to ask questions, get connected to resources and join a community that would never judge them because of their status. This session on new media will allow participants to see real examples of how they can implement the tools in an effective way to enhance their missions and expand their reach. I hope you will join us and bring your examples and enthusiasm to this session and to all of the activities surrounding AIDS 2012.

When: Monday, July 23rd, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: Washington D.C. Convention Center, Mini Room 4

License Denied: HIV/AIDS Licensing Restriction in the United States
Licensing criteria that discriminate against people living with HIV/AIDS violate federal law, yet many states have retained these laws, which prevent people living with HIV/AIDS from working as doctors, nurses, barbers or in certain other positions that require a professional license. Presented by NWAC Member HIV Law Project, their recommendation is that states must examine their licensing procedures and ensure that they are in compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act as well as guidance from the United States Department of Justice.

When: Tuesday, July 24th, 1:00 p.m.
Where: Washington D.C. Convention Center, Mini Room 5

Join Women’s Mobilization at AIDS 2012

The Women’s Organizing Committee of the We Can End AIDS Mobilization invites all International AIDS Conference participants and community members to join women and girls in making waves on Tuesday, July 24th. The “women’s arm” of the mobilization will be demanding reproductive justice, sexual rights and an end to gender based violence. Please join the mobilization and amplify the voices of girls and women, including gender queer and transgender girls and women across the world, in a call to end the war on girls and women!

When: Tuesday, July 24th at Noon
Where: Meet outside the Global Village in the Washington D.C. Convention Center (9th Street and Massachusetts Avenue).

The march will pass in front of the White House and return to the convention center.

If you can, come prepared: bring turquoise and ocean blue ribbons, scarves, flags, and fabric to wave throughout the streets of D.C. Bring any noisemakers you have (like tambourines and maracas) and your outside voice to help us chant down the streets of DC. At the end of the march, we’ll be tying our panties (bring an extra pair!) with red ribbon and waving them in the air.

From the Shadows: Women, Sex, HIV, and Violence

July 18, 2012 Washington, D.C. — In the U.S., 1 out of every 4 people living with HIV is a woman. Further, it is estimated that 30% of women living with HIV experience post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) linked to violence and trauma compared to 5.2% in the general population, according to a recent UCSF meta-analysis of almost 6,000 women living with HIV. How does this impact the HIV epidemic in the United States? New data shows that intimate partner violence is a disproportionately high cause of death for HIV-positive women in the U.S.

On March 30, 2012, President Obama released a memorandum establishing a federal interagency workgroup to address the intersection of HIV/AIDS, Violence Against Women and Girls, and Gender-related Health Disparities.  Now, advocates say, it’s time for action.

“Women are dying unnecessarily,” says Gina Brown, a woman openly living with HIV and resident of New Orleans, LA, who will speak at Monday’s press conference.  “They can live with HIV, but are dying from the effects of violence in their homes and communities.  HIV policies and programs must prevent and address the effects of gender-based violence that weave through women’s lives.”

U.S. Positive Women’s Network, a national membership body of women living with HIV, is a proud AIDS 2012 U.S. community partner. We invite you to attend our press conference on Monday July 23rd from 10am – 10:45am in the Media Center’s Press Conference Room 3.

The press conference will feature breaking new research that will be released at AIDS 2012 on the impact of violence on women’s health outcomes, solutions from women openly living with HIV, and a call to action for U.S. federal decision-makers from nationally-recognized advocates on HIV and violence against women. Speakers include:

Kathleen Weber, The CORE Center/Cook County Health and Hospital System and Hektoen Institute of Medicine, and Mardge Cohen, MD, Principal Investigator, Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) and Professor of Medicine, Rush University, announcing new data on the impact of violence on mortality from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), the largest longitudinal cohort study of women living with and at risk for HIV in the U.S.

Kathleen Griffith, U.S. Positive Women’s Network, a woman living with HIV, and member of the national HIV/DV Curriculum Committee for HIV and domestic violence providers.

Gina Brown, U.S. Positive Women’s Network, a woman living with HIV.

Edward Machtinger, MD, UCSF Professor of Medicine, Director of UCSF’s Women’s HIV Program, and Principal Investigator of two recent studies clarifying the disproportionately high rates of trauma and PTSD faced by HIV-positive women as well as the crucial impact of trauma on key health outcomes and transmission risk behaviors.

Paulette Sullivan Moore, Policy Vice President, National Network to End Domestic Violence. 

Moderated by Naina Khanna, U.S. Positive Women’s Network Coordinator and woman living with HIV.

 

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U.S. Positive Women’s Network (PWN) is a project of WORLD (Women Organized to Respond to Life-threatening Disease) in Oakland, CA. We are a national membership body of women living with HIV and our allies that exists to strengthen the strategic power of all women living with HIV in the United States. We believe in self-determination, solidarity and sisterhood. Everyday we inspire, inform and mobilize women living with HIV to advocate for changes that improve our lives and uphold our rights. Website: www.pwn-usa.org | Facebook: tinyurl.com/uspwnfacebook | Twitter: #uspwn.

National HIV Awareness Month (PDFs)

NWAC is a partner of the National HIV Awareness Month. Below please find several posters/postcards for NHAM. We encourage you to use these far and wide, as you see fit.

20% of Americans with HIV don't know they have it. Pass it on...

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Soon everyone will know someone who doesn't know they are infected

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Do you know 50,000 Americans are infected with HIV every year?Download PDF >>
Hoping ignorance vanishes is not enoughDownload PDF >>