Advocacy by and for HIV+ women in Colorado

By Barb Cardell, PWN-USA Member in Colorado  Barb-PAHO-March-2011

“Given… trends and issues, efforts to stem the tide of the U.S. HIV/AIDS epidemic will increasingly depend on how and to what extent its effect on women and girls is addressed”
– Kaiser Family Foundation- Women and HIV/AIDS factsheet 8/2011

Women have been at risk and infected with HIV since the early days of the epidemic, often we are left out of political discussion and planned public policies.  This leaves us feeling frustrated, ignored and invisible.  Today, as we approach the start of a new year, we know that 300,000 women are living with HIV/AIDS in the US, representing 27% of those infected.  In 2009, 1 out of every 5 new infections was a woman.  What we also know is that HIV infection is often a different disease for women.   Many HIV+ women struggle economically, have family responsibilities that come before our own health concerns and less access to health care.  All of these challenges affect how well we live and survive our journey with HIV.

In June 2008, The US Positive Women’s Network (PWN) was formed. PWN was founded by 28 diverse HIV+ women advocates from across the country.  We challenge systems and governments that fail to recognize our rights and needs.  As women, we seize and create opportunities for ourselves and for the betterment of all women.  We advocate on an international and national stage, and now reach down to state and regional levels, striving to achieve policies and programs that better serve the needs of women living with and vulnerable to HIV.

January 2nd, 2012, a new chapter of PWN starts in Colorado as we hold our first Regional Organizing discussion.  Location still to be determined.

Be a part of HIV + Women’s History in Colorado!!!
•    Advocate for HIV+ women
•    Be heard
•    Create and write public policy that affects you
•    Fight against stigma and discrimination
•    Demand that human rights and women’s rights are upheld when discussing:
The National HIV/AIDS Strategy, criminalization, reproductive justice, economic justice, prevention justice and women centered care.

If you are interested in attending the meeting, being involved in the future or have questions contact Barb Cardell at 303-946-2529 .  
To learn more about PWN-USA, find us at http://www.pwn-usa.org or friend us on face book Positive Women’s Network – United States of America

In Sisterhood & Solidarity,
Barb Cardell

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