It’s About Love

It’s About Love: World AIDS Day 2010

by Naina Khanna

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This World AIDS Day, December 1st, 2010, I want to talk about love.

Yes, love. We talk about sex frequently in the HIV world… but not so much about love.

Love is a just world, where all human rights are upheld and everyone lives in dignity — regardless of skin color, immigration status, gender identity, income or wealth, class, race or ethnicity, appearance, gender, source of income, sexual orientation, ability, or faith.

Love is our vision of a world where all people have equal opportunity to access HIV prevention, and all people with HIV live free of stigma, shame, free of the fear to disclose, and free of the fear of being discriminated against.

Love is what keeps us going, World AIDS Day after World AIDS Day.  Loss after loss. Victory after victory.

World AIDS Day is a day we pause to reflect, honor lives lost to and impacted by HIV, and recommit to ensuring a compassionate and just response to HIV.

It’s also a day we honor those who love and support us.  None of us do this work alone.  Love sustains us to lead, advocate, and take action.  As a national network of women living with HIV, we are mothers, lovers, wives, daughters, nieces, aunts, and grandmothers.  We fight for justice because we want our children and yours to grow up in a world that is safe, just, and free. And we absolutely could not do it without those who stand with, support, love and inspire us – our allies, families, lovers, partners, funders, friends, mentors, and community.

This World AIDS Day, the PWN honors everyone in the struggle to address the devastating impact of HIV on our communities and uphold the human rights of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.  We stand with all of you and are committed to doing our part to address this epidemic.

In 2011, we will continue to:

* Train HIV-positive women and allies to use a human rights framework to advocate for better solutions, including reproductive justice for women affected by HIV, and an end to HIV criminalization.

* Feature voices and stories of powerful HIV women and allies in our newsletter and blogs

* Provide media advocacy trainings to women living with HIV and those fighting alongside us.

* Uplift the leadership of women living with HIV nationally.

* Ensure that folks from around the U.S., especially communities of color and women, are involved in the International AIDS Conference to be held in Washington, DC in July 2012.

* Assess how women’s needs can best be met through the implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and health care reform.

Stand with us as we fight for prevention justice, access to quality women-centered care, and to end HIV-related stigma and discrimination.

Are you a case manager, social worker, peer advocate, or other provider? Make sure the HIV-positive and affected women you know are up to date on policy issues affecting their lives. Invite them to join the U.S. Positive Women’s Network.

Love conquers fear.

Thank you for your work and your commitment.

In sisterhood, solidarity, and love,

Naina Khanna

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