Positive Women’s Network – USA Launches #PWNCares, an Interactive New Multimedia Series Connecting Women with HIV and Addressing Their Biggest Challenges

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**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
October 13, 2017

Contact: Jennie Smith-Camejo, jsmithcamejo@pwn-usa.org347.553.5174

The new initiative, featuring a series of short videos in which real women living with HIV address important topics, followed by virtual coffee table chats offering real-time conversation and Q&A, will launch Oct. 23

Who should I tell?  How is my life going to change? Can I still have children? What does this mean for dating? An HIV diagnosis leads to hundreds of questions that cannot be answered by a prescription alone. With a generous Positive Action for Women grant from ViiV HealthcarePositive Women’s Network – USA, the premiere membership organization of women living with HIV in the U.S., is combining the wisdom and expertise that come from lived experience with multimedia technology to connect and support recently diagnosed and/or isolated women living with HIV as they seek answers through our new project, #PWNCares. Continue reading “Positive Women’s Network – USA Launches #PWNCares, an Interactive New Multimedia Series Connecting Women with HIV and Addressing Their Biggest Challenges”

PWNers Organize, Mobilize, Lead and WIN on Health Care!

PWN PA RIP Trumpcare

September 28, 2017: In Washington, D.C., and in states across the country, PWN-USA members stood up and fought hard to protect the promise of the Affordable Care Act from the latest attack, the Graham-Cassidy bill. It was the worst of a series of terrible bills that would have stripped health care coverage from millions, gutted protections for preexisting conditions, dismantled Medicaid, defunded Planned Parenthood and eliminated the guarantee of essential health benefits like prescription drugs, hospitalization, mental health and substance abuse, maternity care and more.

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PWN-USA Pennsylvania in action Tuesday

The very day the bill was officially pulled for lack of votes–Tuesday, Sept. 26–members of PWN-USA Pennsylvania held a die-in outside Sen. Pat Toomey’s office in Philadelphia, complete with tombstones and body bags (see above and right). “Repealing essential health benefits will have a devastating effect on  my health outcomes as a woman living HIV and preexisting conditions,” said Teresa Sullivan, PWN-USA board member and PWN-USA Pennsylvania senior member, who participated in Tuesday’s action. “My family and friends I care about will lose valuable, lifesaving health care if  Graham and Cassidy health bill is passed.” Continue reading “PWNers Organize, Mobilize, Lead and WIN on Health Care!”

TrumpCare 2.0 Is Dead Because of You

PWN PA RIP Trumpcare

September 26: It’s been a long, hard few months. You deserve kudos–and a break.

We thought we had killed the ACA repeal bill in the House in March, only to have it resurface in April and pass the House in May. That meant we had to fight it in the Senate with everything we had–and we did. We defeated not one, not two, but three Senate versions of repeal by a one-vote margin in late July. That seemed to settle it–until Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy brought it back from the dead just a couple of weeks ago, uglier and more detrimental to our communities than ever. Continue reading “TrumpCare 2.0 Is Dead Because of You”

We Need One More “No” Vote to Save the ACA. ALL HANDS ON DECK!

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Thursday, Sept. 21

ISSUE: It’s now or never. Senate Republicans have just over a week to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and the devastating Graham-Cassidy proposal is gaining steam, even though it will do exactly what previous repeal bills would have done: strip health care from millions; end protections for pre-existing conditions; allow insurers to refuse coverage for essential health benefits like prescription drugs, hospitalization, lab work, contraceptives, and reproductive health; and decimate Medicaid, on which over 40% of people living with HIV rely to stay healthy. Continue reading “We Need One More “No” Vote to Save the ACA. ALL HANDS ON DECK!”

Disparities in Health Outcomes, Barriers to Care Are About More Than Just Access

 

Updated Sept. 10

September 8, United States Conference on AIDS, 2017. Washington, D.C.: Black men wait 32% longer to cross the street than white men, according to a study from Portland, Oregon. Males in their 20s, identically dressed, had very distinct experiences: While the white men waited only 7.4 seconds to cross, Black men waited an average of 9.79 seconds for a driver to yield after signaling their intention to cross.

Such an anecdote, at first glance, seems to have little to do with health care. Yet—as Dr. David Williams of Harvard University, the keynote speaker at the opening plenary of the 2017 U.S. Conference on AIDS (USCA), illustrated with diverse statistics—the overlap between structural racism that people of color, particularly Black people, face every day and significantly lower health outcomes is impossible to ignore. Even Black people with a college degree have a shorter life expectancy than white people without a high school diploma. When it comes to health disparities, there are systemic problems that run even deeper than the already very real and widely acknowledged problem of lack of access to poor and working class people. Continue reading “Disparities in Health Outcomes, Barriers to Care Are About More Than Just Access”

Our Resistance Recess Toolkit Has Lots of Ideas and Resources to Take Action This August Recess!

August 8: We did it! Through people power, we killed the efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act! At least for now, and just by one vote. We have lots of work ahead of us.

All members of Congress are home for the August recess. They’ll be in district hosting town halls, public events, and meeting with their constituents. When they come back in September, they’ll be voting on a number of pieces of legislation, as well as the federal budget. The Republican fight to dismantle the social safety net, including health care, funding for Medicaid and food stamps, is not over. Will you take the pledge to be active during #ResistanceRecess to #ProtectOurCare and the #HIVBudget?  

To help you plan your next steps, check out our brand-new, hot-off-the-presses Resistance Recess Toolkit. Use it and share with your friends and fellow activists!

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Shyronn Jones, PWN-USA Policy Fellow, visits GA Sen. David Purdue’s office

We Won.

July 28: Let it sink in. Savor it. If victory is sweet, this is a whole chocolate cake with ice cream, whipped cream and cherries on top. The efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act have died. And it’s all because of dedicated, determined advocates and activists like us.

We knew from the beginning that this was about far more than just politics. This was about our lives. So many of us gained real insurance coverage for the first time thanks to the ACA, whether through Medicaid expansion or because of its protections for preexisting conditions, its subsidies, its prohibition on lifetime caps or any of the myriad improvements it brought us.

For some of us, and for some of those we love, this has meant the difference between financial stability and bankruptcy–or even between life and death. Continue reading “We Won.”

PWNers Work to #KillTheBill from Coast to Coast

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Masonia Traylor at the People’s Filibuster in Washington, DC, June 27

Members of Positive Women’s Network-USA have dedicated enormous time and energy to stop the GOP repeal of the Affordable Care Act, first through the House Republicans’ “American Health Care Act” (AHCA), and now through the Senate Republicans’ “Better Care Reconciliation Act” (BCRA). We are fully aware that it has been a long haul, but the fight is not over yet. So we must keep that same momentum and fierce determination to #ProtectOurCare as we battle Trumpcare in the Senate.

We are in this fight together. Here are just a few things that our fierce PWN members and allies have been doing to spread awareness and stop this dangerous bill:

  • PWN-USA OH member Olga Irwin participated in a protest outside Sen. Portman’sOlga AHCA protest office and spoke to the media about her concerns with how Trumpcare could harm people living with HIV.
  • PWN-USA Board Member Venita Ray from Texas organized a phone bank in Houston: 5 people made 257 calls on Monday 6/26!
  • PWN-USA Colorado members have been protesting outside Senator Cory Gardner’s office in Denver, CO, and have been trying to chase him down during the recess–and recording and posting videos addressed to him, since he is dodging his constituents.
  • PWN-USA Board Member and PWN-USA TX Senior Member Evany Turk organized a 30 young adults to phone bank target Senators while visiting her mother in Chicago.
  • PWNer Masonia Traylor from Atlanta, GA, provided powerful testimony at the People’s Filibuster in Washington, DC. (see photo at top of story)
  • PWN-USA’s Executive Director Naina Khanna also spoke at this event (see photo below).Naina DC rally
  • PWN-USA Policy Fellow Shyronn Jones organized a meeting with Senator Perdue for July 6th, by using the PWN-USA Action Alert template to request an appointment with Senator Perdue, found a form on his website to request a meeting and got a meeting with State Director and State Policy Director. She also submitted an op-ed to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • PWNers Gina Brown and Grissel Granados were among the 6 members of the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS who resigned June 14 in protest of the administration’s lack of strategy or focus on the epidemic, highlighting the disastrous health care bills as evidence of its disregard for people living with and vulnerable to HIV.
  • PWNer Gina Brown submitted an op-ed to the Times-Picayune about her decision to leave PACHA, and was also interviewed and quoted by the Daily Beast, TheBody.com, and The Hill about her decision.
  • PWNer Grissel Granados had an op-ed published in SELF Magazine about her decision to resign from the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.
  • PWNer Connie Rose from Las Vegas organized a phone bank in Nevada.
  • PWN ally Bryan Jones organized a phone bank in Cleveland.
  • PWN-USA Policy Fellow Arianna Lint participated in a protest of the health care bill outside Sen. Marco Rubio’s office.

Continue reading “PWNers Work to #KillTheBill from Coast to Coast”

All hands on deck to #ProtectOurCare!

 

May 3, 2017: This is not a drill, y’all. House Republicans are at it again, attempting to slash and burn health care access for millions of people in the US! In fact, they believe they have the votes lined up for a vote TOMORROW. We could lose health care that 1.2 million people with HIV and one in four Americans with pre-existing conditions depend on for survival.

We have been calling on you a lot but we urgently need you right now. If you do nothing else, call your representative RIGHT NOW to OPPOSE the Amended American Health Care Act (AHCA) Repeal Bill.  We are looking to move folks into the NO column below. Speak up and demand that your elected officials oppose the AHCA. Because our lives depend on it. Continue reading “All hands on deck to #ProtectOurCare!”

On #NWGHAAD, PWNers Assert and Celebrate #BodilyAutonomy

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March 16, 2017: For National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (#NWGHAAD), PWNers from coast to coast hosted and participated in events, in person and online, raising awareness and educating our communities about HIV and its impact on women and girls and asserting the bodily autonomy of women living with HIV.

From the Women Living Conference in Atlanta (PWNer Shyronn Jones shares her experience there in this blog) to a special event focused on the theme of bodily autonomy in Philadelphia, PWN-USA members and regional chapters took advantage of the occasion to speak out, share our stories and advocate for our rights. You can see the events PWN-USA members and chapters hosted, participated in and/or presented at here. And check out the slideshow above! Continue reading “On #NWGHAAD, PWNers Assert and Celebrate #BodilyAutonomy”