PACHA Members Living with HIV Resign: “We will be more effective from the outside”

A quarter of the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS Resigns in Protest, Including Majority of PACHA Members Living with HIV

Contact: Gina Brown: 504.458.5247; Grissel Granados: 562.965.0055; Scott Schoettes: 773.474.9250

June 16, 2017: Today, 6 of the 21 members of the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) resigned, including three of the five members who are living with HIV. PACHA advises the President and federal agencies on the domestic response to the HIV epidemic. Under President Obama, PACHA was responsible for helping to monitor implementation of the first ever National HIV/AIDS Strategy and passed resolutions to increase federal focus on women, transgender people, and youth, as well as calling for an end to laws criminalizing people living with HIV. Resigning members expressed frustration with an administration that values neither their insight on ending the epidemic nor the very lives of people living with and vulnerable to HIV. Positive Women’s Network stands with and supports the resigning people living with HIV, Gina Brown, Grissel Granados, and Scott Schoettes, and applauds them for their leadership and service. Continue reading “PACHA Members Living with HIV Resign: “We will be more effective from the outside””

Celebrating 9 Years of Fierce Leadership of Women Living with HIV

Naina Web Headshot 2Special Message from the Executive Director

Dear PWN Community,

This month, Positive Women’s Network – USA (PWN-USA) celebrates our ninth year of fierce leadership by and for women living with HIV. As PWN-USA’s executive director and a woman living with HIV, I couldn’t be prouder of what we have collectively accomplished or more honored to serve in this capacity.

When PWN-USA was founded in June 2008 by 28 women with HIV, including folks of trans experience, the presence of our communities at policy- and decision-making tables in the HIV arena was heartbreakingly scant. Very few women living with HIV were well-recognized as leaders in the movement. There was no collective voice speaking on behalf of our communities. And, in large part because of structural racism, classism, transphobia, and poverty, those most frequently sought out as advisors were not those most reflective of the U.S. epidemic.

Today, that has changed, and we have built a strong and diverse movement. PWN is proud to be part of a transformation of the HIV landscape towards meaningful leadership by people living with HIV, with an emphasis on people of color, low-income folks, and folks of trans experience. In 2017, these communities are not only visible in HIV work; we are currently leading some of the most innovative, intersectional, and urgent battles for our collective liberation, including access to quality health care and economic justice; fighting for human rights and dignity.

PWN-USA is committed to fundamentally shift who is in power and how power is held by cultivating leadership and building power in the communities most impacted by the epidemic, while using transformative practices in our own organizing.

Read more about how we’ve done that and our herstory here.

In today’s political climate, our work is more urgent and necessary than ever. We’re getting ready to scale up our resistance, and we need your support. Continue reading “Celebrating 9 Years of Fierce Leadership of Women Living with HIV”

Your voice counts! Complete the survey today for a chance to win a $100 gift card. Deadline May 24!

Your voice matters! Positive Women’s Network – USA is about to embark on a strategic planning process, including updates to our policy agenda in light of the new challenges we face in today’s political climate. As the premier national voice for women living with HIV (WLHIV), our priority is to hear from as many WLHIV as possible as we consider how to have maximum impact and support our constituency. How can PWN-USA support you in meeting your needs and achieving your goals? Help us out by responding to this survey for WLHIV and passing it on to any WLHIV you know!

All WLHIV who complete the survey and provide their contact info at the end will receive a PWN-USA membership card in the mail AND will be entered in a raffle to win a $100 Amazon gift card. Once the survey is completed, the last page will provide a link to fill out a a form and get entered into the raffle. The answers within the survey remain anonymous. The link enters each participant into the raffle for the $100 Amazon gift card. The survey takes about 20-30 minutes to complete and should be completed in one sitting.

Deadline to complete the survey and be entered in the raffle is Wednesday, May 24! Don’t miss your chance–take the survey today!

For more information, contact us at:


PWN-USA and SERO Project Announce 2018 HIV Is Not a Crime National Training Academy in Indianapolis

         sero_pwn_cropFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Ken Pinkela: or Jennie Smith-Camejo:

May 15, 2017:  Building on the amazing success of the HIV Is Not a Crime II National Training Academy last year, the SERO Project and Positive Women’s Network-USA are pleased to announce that the planning process is underway for the third HIV Is Not a Crime National Training Academy to support repeal or modernization of laws criminalizing the alleged non-disclosure, perceived or potential exposure or transmission of HIV. The training academy will be held at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) June 3-6, 2018.

Continue reading “PWN-USA and SERO Project Announce 2018 HIV Is Not a Crime National Training Academy in Indianapolis”

This #MothersDay, Help #FreeMichaelJohnson and Bring Him Home to His Mom

MJ mothers day meme light blue v2

May 11, 2017: This Sunday will mark the fourth Mother’s Day that Tracy Johnson has had to spend separated from Michael, her youngest son. That’s how long he has been incarcerated under Missouri’s archaic and draconian HIV criminalization laws, following a trial marred by racism and homophobia.

But recently, Michael and his mom finally got some good news: this past December, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, reversed his conviction based on the prosecution’s failure to turn over important evidence in a timely fashion. But Michael is not out of the woods yet. In order for Michael to have a chance to get his life back, he needs the best legal counsel available at the new trial that will take place sometime soon. This is where your help is needed Continue reading “This #MothersDay, Help #FreeMichaelJohnson and Bring Him Home to His Mom”

We Love You. We Will Keep Fighting for You.

May 4, 2017

Dear PWN Community,

We love you. We promise to keep fighting for, and alongside, you.

Today, 217 members of the House knowingly voted to strip over 24 million people of their health care, and make insurance more expensive and less comprehensive for everyone else. Continue reading “We Love You. We Will Keep Fighting for You.”

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!”

This May Day, Join the HIV Community Movement for Expanded Sanctuary

A Joint Statement from Counter Narrative Project, HIV Prevention Justice Alliance, Positive Women’s Network – USA, TransLatin@ Coalition, Treatment Action Group, the US People Living with HIV Caucus and Venas Abiertas

Leer en español aquí

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well…

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land…

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire…
– excerpted from “Home” by Warsan Shire

Graphic by Design Action Collective

May 1, 2017: Emigrating entails hardship and sacrifice: leaving loved ones, a community and valued possessions behind; sometimes learning a new language and a new culture. Throughout history, people have courageously made these difficult and sometimes heartbreaking choices for their own preservation, to seek or to provide a better future for their loved ones. Yet today, tens of millions of people, driven by the same aspirations and values this country claims to cherish, live in agonizing fear for their safety–because a minority of the United States elected to its highest office a demagogue who found his path to victory in scapegoating and marginalizing them. He has already translated his dangerous, divisive rhetoric into policies that run contrary to the U.S. Constitution and to the most basic of the values it enshrines. Continue reading “This May Day, Join the HIV Community Movement for Expanded Sanctuary”

Stop Zombie Trumpcare!


April 27, 2017: The House Freedom Caucus has officially endorsed a revised Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, delivering a fresh burst of momentum to the GOP’s efforts to revive its stalled health care effort. Read more here.

This new version of the GOP repeal bill the American Health Care Act (AHCA) would be even worse for people with HIV. It would allow states to opt of providing essential health benefits and charge people with pre-existing conditions like HIV higher premiums. The initial bill would have left 24 million uninsured. This bill will leave coverage out of reach for even more Americans. Please tell your Congressional representative to OPPOSE the Amended AHCA Repeal Bill.

Now is not the time to be silent. Speak up and demand that your elected officials oppose the American Health Care Act. Speak up–your voice matters!

Republicans and Democrats need to hear from you! Call your Representative in the House of Representatives TODAY, at (866) 246-9371.  This number is toll-free and will connect you with your Representative. Here is what you can say:

Hello my name is _______ and I live in [city, state & zip]. I am a person [living with HIV /concerned about HIV]. I am calling to demand that you vote against the American Health Care Act. The American Health Care Act will hurt people living with and vulnerable to HIV by making it harder and more expensive to get the care they need. All Americans deserve better. I urge you to support people living with and vulnerable to HIV and oppose the American Health Care Act.

Target list is below.

If you are authorized to sign your organization onto a letter opposing the amended AHCA, please sign on here.

This Friday, the House could very well pass a bill that many analysts characterize as worse than the original version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA, which would have dismantled many ACA protections for people with viral hepatitis). In addition to stripping Medicaid funding for the most vulnerable communities, the new bill would allow states to:

  • Let insurers charge people higher premiums based on pre-existing conditions
  • Eliminate the law’s essential health benefits requirements that guarantee coverage for things like mental health care, prescription drugs, and maternity care

The defeat of this bill now depends on the willingness of moderate House Republicans to vote NO on the legislation. We urge you to contact your representative now and tell them to vote NO on the Amended AHCA.

Below you will find a list categorizing representatives based on their stance regarding the Amended AHCA:


NJ-02 Frank LoBiondo
NJ-07 Leonard Lance
NY-11 Dan Donovan
PA-15 Charlie Dent
PA-08 Brian Fitzpatrick
FL-27 Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
CA-10 Jeff Denham


AK-AL Don Young
IA-03 David Young
MD-01 Andy Harris
NJ_11 Rodney Frelinghuysen
NJ-02 Glenn Thompson
NJ-04 Chris Smith
NV-02 Mark Amodei
NY-24 John Katko
OH-10 Mike Turner
OH-14 Dave Joyce
TX-23 Will Hurd
VA-01 Rob Wittman
VA-10 Barbara Comstock
WA-03 Jaime Herrera Beutler


AZ-02 Martha McSally
CA-08 Paul Cook
CA-21 David Valadao
CA-25 Steve Knight
CA-39 Ed Royce
CA-45 Mimi Walters
CA-48 Dana Rohrabacher
CA-49 Darrell Issa
CO-03 Scott Tipton
CO-06 Mike Coffman
FL-18 Brian Mast
FL-25 Mario Diaz-Balart
FL-26 Carlos Curbelo
IL-06 Peter Roskam
IL-12 Mike Bost
IL-13 Rodney Davis
IL-14 Randy Hultgren
ME-02 Bruce Poliquin
MN-02 Jason Lewis
MN-03 Erik Paulsen
NE-02 Don Bacon
NY-02 Peter King
NY-19 John Faso
NY-21 Elise Stefanik
NY-22 Claudia Tenney
OH-07 Bob Gibbs
PA-06 Ryan Costello
PA-07 Pat Meehan
PA-18 Tim Murphy
TX-23 Will Hurd
WA-08 David Reichert


NJ-03 Tom MacArthur
OH-16 Jim Renacci

Thank you in advance for making your call today.

Announcing the 2017 PWN Policy Fellows!

March 31, 2017: We are thrilled to be launching the PWN-USA Policy Fellows, an inaugural program to build the policy leadership bench for women, including women of trans experience, directly impacted by the epidemic and historically underrepresented in the federal health policy advocacy arena. The program kicks off on April 7 when Fellows will embark on a yearlong training, where they will develop skills in policy analysis, research, coalition and relationship building as emerging leaders in the field. For more information on the program, click here. To read the Fellows’ bios, click here.

Continue reading “Announcing the 2017 PWN Policy Fellows!”