June 15, 2015 – By becoming informed about the realities of living with HIV and incorporating these facts and stories into their reporting, media makers can also be some of our greatest allies in improving lives and upholding rights for people with HIV. So, in the spirit of allyship – and helping media makers satisfy their professional responsibility to seek and report truth, PWN-USA offers this primer for media makers to start today – right now! – to become allies in eliminating HIV stigma, one article and one report at a time. Read More
HIV and Justice Organizations Stand with Michael Johnson and All Black Gay Men, and Condemn Laws Criminalizing HIV-Positive Status
May 15, 2015 – As organizations committed to human rights, social justice, and dignity for people living with and vulnerable to HIV, we release this statement in solidarity with Black gay men who have been organizing a response to the criminalization of Michael L. Johnson. Read More
May 6, 2015 – Today, PWN-USA is proud to announce the release of a new model for bringing trauma awareness and healing into primary healthcare settings. The conceptual framework, developed in partnership with University of California – San Francisco (UCSF) clinician-researchers, provides a practical guide to help providers incorporate trauma-informed care into clinical practice. Read More
The next National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) must include factors vital to the survival and well-being of women living with HIV. On April 13, at AIDSWatch 2015 in Washington, DC, PWN-USA released a set of recommendations for consideration by the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) as it develops the second iteration of the NHAS. Among the recommendations is a demand for a minimum national standard of care for people living with HIV, which would include clinical and non-clinical quality of life guidelines. Read More
White Paper Shows Key Gaps in the ACA, and Opportunities for the Ryan White Program to Provide Healthcare for Women with HIV
Three organizations working to achieve health justice for women have released a collaborative policy paper examining the unique healthcare needs of women living with HIV, highlighting key opportunities as well as gaps in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and underlining the importance of the Ryan White Program in the current arrangement of public healthcare for people living with HIV. Read and download the full report: Ryan White and the Affordable Care Act: Advocating for Public Healthcare for Women Living with HIV (PDF)
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is an annual observance to recognize the impact of HIV on women and girls. Here at At Positive Women’s Network – USA, a national network of women living with HIV, we work on addressing the HIV epidemic among women year round. Read on for events, articles, and digital actions from women living with HIV and allies on March 10, National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day! Read More
Services for Women and Youth with HIV Gutted Yet Again! PWN-USA Responds to the President’s Budget Proposal to Eliminate Ryan White Part D
This Groundhog Day, the forecast for women with HIV looks bleak. On February 2, 2015, President Obama’s budget for 2016 was released: Following last year’s disturbing precedent, the budget yet again proposes the elimination of Part D of the Ryan White HIV Program, which serves women, infants, children, and youth living with HIV. Positive Women’s Network – USA is deeply concerned about this proposal and demands to see the evidence that drove this recommendation. From the Ryan White Program to the whole spectrum of care for people with HIV, services and care designed to meet women’s needs are not disposable. Read More
Do All Black Lives Matter? On National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Amplifying the Voices of Women, Youth, and Transgender Women
February 7, 2015 – This National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), Black women remain 20 times more likely than their white counterparts to be diagnosed with HIV in their lives – and Black women get sicker, and die faster, from HIV-related complications than white women.
Women living with HIV are overwhelmingly Black women. Throughout the three-plus-decade history of HIV in the US, this has always held true. No demographic shift made it so; Black women have always been most heavily impacted by HIV. Read More
The language we use defines who we are. Activists, health professionals, journalists, HIV community advocates, and many others have significant roles to play in modeling language that is non-stigmatizing when speaking, writing, and otherwise engaging on HIV-related topics. Join PWN-USA for a special webinar on Tuesday, February 3! Read More
“The price of stigma and violence is too great to bear. At only 30 years of age, Elisha is dead, leaving her two young sons, mother, siblings, and friends to mourn her absence. Welch will serve a minimum of 25 years of his 50-year prison sentence. … This is an example of senseless violence and unnecessary loss for an act that had virtually zero risk of HIV transmission.” Read More
We stand together as a group of HIV activists of color. We are Black lesbians. We are Black gay men. We are heterosexual. We are immigrants and descendants of immigrants. We are people living with HIV and people whose lives have been touched by HIV. We are people of transgender experience and non-transgender experience. We are multigenerational, in age as well as HIV movement engagement. We are impacted by trauma in many different and complex ways. We experience intersectional stigmas. We are survivors of a range of health conditions and inequities. We share a vision of social justice and freedom for the communities we serve. In light of the continued impact of the HIV epidemic coupled with, and fueled by, pervasive structural violence facing our communities, this World AIDS Day we call for redefining the path ahead. Read More
As grandmothers, mothers, sisters, and daughters, we understand the fear, horror, and outrage at the grand jury’s failure to indict Darren Wilson, and at this stark evidence of persistent racial bias that regularly turns deadly in encounters between police and Black bodies. Read More
On October 23, 2014, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, PWN-USA spearheaded a National Day of Action to End Violence Against Women Living with HIV.
3 in every 4 U.S. women living with HIV (WLHIV) report a history of gender-based violence, compared with 1 in every 4 women in the general population.
This violence can be deadly.
- Women with HIV reporting abuse within the past 30 days are four times more likely to fail treatment than those who do not report abuse.
- In recent years, WLHIV have been brutally murdered following disclosure of their HIV status.
End the Violence! Read More
SPEAK UP! A National Leadership Summit for Women Living with HIV, our first-ever national summit, was a phenomenal success!
More than 200 women living with HIV and allies from across the country gathered in Fort Walton Beach, FL, for three days in September 2014. Read More
September 4, 2014 – Positive Women’s Network – USA (PWN-USA) congratulates two of our members, Gina Brown of New Orleans and Grissel Granados of Los Angeles, on their recent appointments to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). Read More
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’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
By Naimah Oneal, Regional Co-Chair, PWN-USA-Ohio
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
Positive Women’s Network – USA turned SIX on June 17! Can you believe it?
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