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Tools for Advocates to Respond to a Young Woman’s HIV-Related Murder

By Morénike Giwa Onaiwu, Venita Ray and Dena Hughes

Readers may already be aware of the tragic May murder of Elisha Henson, a 30-year-old Texas mother of two who was brutally strangled and dumped into a lake a few months ago after a male with whom she’d had a previous intimate encounter learned of her HIV status. …

Though the consensual physical act that Elisha and the alleged murderer engaged in posed virtually zero risk of HIV transmission, fear and ignorance fueled a violent, unnecessary act. And now two young boys are without their mother.

elisha henson smallElisha’s murder, like that of another young mother, Cicely Bolden of Dallas two years ago (who was murdered by a boyfriend after she disclosed her HIV status to him), and countless others before that, highlight the fact that though we have come very far over the years in the field of HIV, we still have a long, long way to go. …

Nationally, advocates are taking action, including Positive Women’s Network-USA.  Several of us Houston advocates have also teamed up to address this situation, which happened nearly in our own backyard. Read More

 

Facts, Not Fear: In Ohio and Everywhere, HIV Is Not a Crime

By Naimah Oneal, Regional Co-Chair, PWN-USA-Ohio

HIV Is Not a Crime small group pic

Naimah, fellow PWNers and advocates in Iowa for HIV Is Not a Crime.

My name is Naimah Oneal; I am a mother, grandmother, auntie and lastly I am a woman living with HIV.  I must say that I am truly living with HIV by living my life.  I went back to school after my husband died and became a licensed social worker with my Master’s degree in Social Work.  I feel that I am a strong woman who understands that discussing one’s HIV status is important, but I have a problem with  this nation’s and particularly Ohio’s laws has they relate to HIV criminalization. Read More

 

We Grieve for Elisha and Fight to End Violence Against Women With HIV

Positive Women’s Network – USA Mourns and Condemns the HIV-Related Murder of a Texas Woman

June 18, 2014 - Positive Women’s Network – USA (PWN-USA), a national membership body of women living with HIV, is shocked and horrified to learn of media reports that a young woman in Texas was brutally murdered, allegedly as a result of her HIV status.

According to media coverage, Justin Welch strangled 30-year-old Elisha Henson “when he learned she had HIV after she gave him oral sex.”

“This news is sickening, devastating, and heartbreaking to women living with HIV,” says PWN-USA Executive Director Naina Khanna. “Not only does it reveal the lack of value placed on the lives of women with HIV; it also shows that ignorance and misinformation about how HIV is and is not transmitted are quite literally deadly.” Read More

 

Happy 6th Birthday, PWN-USA!

PWN Cake
Positive Women’s Network – USA turned SIX on June 17! Can you believe it?
So much has happened over the past six years. Here are just a few of the highlights. Read More

 

 

PWN-USA Releases 2014-2016 Strategic Plan

PrintEvery 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

Unspoken coverpageTo 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.

Select findings:

  • 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

14 thoughts on “Home

  1. Your blog was very inspiring for HIV Positive women whom are affected and/or infected. Women responding to issues that affect us as a whole encourages others to speak up, please keep up the great work you are doing for women.

  2. Good Evening, My Name is Cynthia Solomon, I’ve been positive for 20 years now and I’m very much interested in becoming a memeber of PWN i’m currently living in New York City, arera Can you please contact me with information on your facility and how to get involve with other positive women. Thank you

    • Hi Cynthia! Thank you so much for reaching out. Would be honored for you to become a member of PWN-USA. Please email us your contact information and we will add you to PWN’s e-mail list (positivewomensnetworkUSA@gmail.com). Also, check out our facebook page to stay updated (link at the top right of this page)! Your voice is needed. We will be hosting a listening session for members to tell us what they want to work on and how they want to get involved. Please stay updated on the website, facebook, and email list!

  3. Count us in PWN-USA, Older Women Embracing Life, Inc., is a tax-exempt not-for-profit operating in MD and the District of Columbia – our vision, an OWEL Support Group in each of these United States.
    Also add the POSITIVE IMPACT Ministry at New Samaritan Baptist Church, 1100 Florida Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002
    I am point of contact for each of the above. Carolyn L. Massey, Executive Director, OWEL; Director, Positive Impact Ministry

  4. Women are faced with much hardships in today’s society, the movie “Temptation” betrays HIV positive women in a negative light. The movie is keeping the stigma and fear alive within the black communities which keeps people from getting tested and taking control of their health. Please sign the petition because SILENCE =DEATH.

  5. tyler perry has a responsibility to show Blacks, Black women especially, in a realistic and positive light. there is enough negative out there.

  6. Hello I am honored to see you ladies are you still doing it i am with sister love as well as vocal ny and love heals the Allison good foundation for HIV education as well as theppg board member 2004 ive worn many hats for many years what’s funny Asian was at the New York 1992 as well as Housing Works 1991, Grace who gonna continue who’s driving I truly feel sad that up until now, women have not been acknowledge so im happ y to finally see us as women standing up and being accounted for,i would love to be a part of your orginization you can also find me on facebook.iam owner of to sites HIv the world wide epidemic and Asia’ lounge

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