Message from Co-Chair Tana Pradia
Tana Pradia was born in Houston and graduated from Lamar High School. Tana gave birth to her two oldest children while in high school and a third child later. She was married for ten years and worked for Kroger for 13 years. She later divorced, became involved in a series of abusive relationships, lost her job and became addicted to drugs.
While suffering the effects of intimate partner violence, drug addiction, and an emotional breakdown, Tana was diagnosed with HIV. Tana later found out that her partner was aware that he had HIV.
At the age of 40, Tana was incarcerated for drug-related offenses, became a sex worker, and was homeless. After being diagnosed with TB in 2011, she stopped using drugs and started treatment for TB and HIV.
Since 2011, Tana has rebuilt her relationship with her children and started on a path of service to others. She is committed to working with anyone who had experienced intimate partner violence, drug addiction, mental health disorders or HIV. Tana became a patient mentor at Thomas Street Health Clinic and completed a program sponsored by the Houston Ryan White Planning Council called Project LEAP (Learning, Empowerment, Advocacy, and Participation).
In 2014, Tana completed the Positive Organizing Project (POP+). POP+ is an advocacy program designed by and for people living with HIV. She joined with several other POP+ graduates and started the Greater Houston Area Chapter of PWN to be a source of support and voice for other women. She is the proud grandmother of four grandchildren and one great grandchild. Tana receives 100% support from her family for all of her advocacy efforts.
Message from Co-Chair Isis Torrente
On January 27,2013, I was diagnosed with HIV. I was devastated. I insisted that they were wrong, that it was not possible–I had been in longterm relationships and did not fit any of the stereotypes, or so I thought. Well, it took a week for me to accept. I was then told that I had been positive for almost 5 years, and it all made sense.
I have the blessing of having a wonderful family. My 2 adult children have been there for me every step of the way and support my efforts, as well as my parents, siblings, and my joy: my granddaughter, who gives me reason to shine everyday.
I am determined to make a change and help other women like me who are unaware that they are at risk. I started to volunteer as an interpreter in the local public clinic for HIV, Thomas Street Health Center, and later became a Patient Mentor for newly diagnosed patients.
My passion for advocacy, caring and helping led me to take a Project LEAP Class with the Ryan White Houston Planning Council. I am now a member of the Planning Council, and sit on 2 very important committees. The Positive Organizing Project (POP) class prepared me for even more advocacy. I have been very involved with HIV prevention. I belong to the Latino HIV Task Force, and I am currently part of the Getting to Zero Campaign in Houston. I am very proud and honored to take on the role of co-chair for PWN-USA Greater Houston Chapter. I look forward to working with all women living with HIV, organizing, connecting, and empowering them by educating on policy and raising awareness that will improve the quality of their lives.