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.

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