Healing in Order to Treat: Addressing Violence and Trauma to Improve Health Outcomes for Women With HIV
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Olivia Ford, email@example.com / 510.333.4262
New York City, March 10, 2014 – Today, National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Positive Women’s Network – United States of America (PWN-USA) is Sharing Knowledge and Taking Action to break the link between violence, trauma and HIV among women in our communities, in collaboration with federal partners. Yet last week, President Barack Obama proposed a 2015 budget that will eliminate future support for women-focused HIV services funded by Part D of the Ryan White Treatment Extension Act — with no assurances that the remaining parts of Ryan White will pick up the slack. This change is being proposed despite data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s HIV care continuum, which shows that only 41% of women living with HIV are retained in medical care.
Far too often, women living with HIV are talked about, instead of talked to, at the tables where decisions are made about our lives.
PWN-USA’s mission is to shift that balance: to prepare and involve all women living with HIV, in all our diversity, including gender identity and sexual expression, to be at those decision-making tables.
This fall, we’ll take a huge step towards living that mission by hosting a national leadership summit for women with HIV. Can you help us take this step?
PWN-USA Releases 2014-2016 Strategic Plan
Every day, PWN-USA inspires, informs and mobilizes women living with HIV to advocate for changes that improve our lives and uphold our rights. In 2013, we went through an extensive strategic planning process and listened to hundreds of stakeholders. Over 200 women living with HIV contributed to our newly launched vision, values, and goals. Check out our 2014-2016 strategic plan by clicking on the image below!
PWN-USA Survey Finds Violations of Sexual and Reproductive Rights of US Women Living with HIV
To better understand the ways in which women living with HIV experience their own sexuality, relationships, and reproductive desires and intentions, within this cultural, political and social context, Positive Women’s Network – United States of America, a national membership body of women living with HIV, created a research and analysis project designed and implemented entirely by women living with HIV. UNSPOKEN: Sexuality, Romance, and Reproductive Freedom for Women Living with HIV in the United States articulates the findings of that project and details recommendations for further research, advocacy, and action.
- Over 50% of US women living with HIV in care have not been counseled on viral suppression as an HIV prevention strategy
- Women living with HIV face high levels of internalized stigma, which negatively impacts self-perception, enjoyment of sex, and intimate partnerships, and may lead to abuse
- 69% of respondents had experienced nonconsensual sex and 72% had experienced intimate partner violence
- Women living with HIV are resilient and resourceful, utilizing diverse strategies to improve health, perceptions of body image, and increase agency in sexual and romantic decision-making
HIV-positive women seek to reduce stigma: new report opens long overdue conversation for underserved community, Al Jazeera America, December 2, 2013
“The U.S. network of HIV-positive women (PWN-USA), a national organization for women living with HIV, has dedicated a new report to Bolden. Her murder brought to light a number of issues facing the 300,000 women in this country who live with HIV, including their disproportionate experience of violence at the hands of romantic partners. Bolden, 28, put a face on a population that bears the brunt of the epidemic: African-American women who account for two-thirds of new HIV cases among women in the U.S.
[...] “It’s commonly understood that gay men with HIV are having sex,” Khanna said. [...] But similar conversations are not happening among HIV-positive women, which is why PWN-USA released its landmark survey assessing “the state of sexual and reproductive health and rights for women living with HIV in the U.S.” The study is based on questionnaires crafted by the research team that were then completed by HIV-positive women around the U.S.”
World AIDS Day 2013: Vanessa Johnson on motherhood, activism and HIV, the Grio, December 1, 2013
What does it mean to live with HIV? For Vanessa Johnson, it means gathering strength from family and friends, and to never give up on finding love …
“Because were were a heterosexual couple, it never occurred to [our doctors] that we might have HIV,” she says. “They kept telling us it was anything else but that: the measles, mononucleosis, just all kinds of things other than HIV.” Continue reading.