As we all celebrate the newly-released National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), several questions remain about how the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) and other Federal Agencies should implement it. The new strategy provides a good basic framework, but lacks specific direction on many important issues facing women.
If we want them to put women-specific plans in place, we need to make sure that they know about the experiences of women living with HIV. If we want them to do something specific about women and discrimination, we have to show them something specific about women and discrimination!
With this in mind, the National WARC E-Forum has been set up to provide a space for the voices of women living with HIV to be heard:
- What are your experiences with programs or policies related to housing, health care, employment?
- Have you ever faced judgment or discrimination in connection with your choices around your sex life or pregnancy?
- Have your received the information you need to make informed decisions about HIV testing and treatment? Been pressured about when and how you get tested for HIV?
There are two ways to participate:
1) Complete the online survey about your experiences — you’ll see the link to it when you register for the forum
2) Blog your comments, suggestions about the topics of the week, or whatever you feel is important to say about the needs of women with HIV or your experiences with discrimination in getting those needs met.
GO ALL THE WAY AND DO BOTH: COMPLETE THE SURVEY, AND ADD YOUR COMMENTS TO THE LIVE E-FORUM TODAY, TOMORROW, ANY AND EVERY DAY UNTIL JULY 31, 2101!
JUST GO TO THE FORUM, REGISTER, AND GET STARTED!
The lead Federal Agencies responsible for implementing the NHAS (The Department of Housing and Urban Development, Social Security Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor, Department of Justice and The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) must create action plans within the next 150 days. Now is the time for women living with HIV to speak up to make sure that states and the federal government do something real to protect HIV-positive women’s rights.
The WARC E-Forum Schedule and Suggested Discussion Topics are listed below. Although, as you’ll see, we are getting conversations started on different topics each week, you can weigh in on ANYTHING that you think is important about your experience as a woman affected by HIV, or as an advocate for women affected by HIV, from now until July 31st.
Starting July 12th: Direct Service Interactions and Experiences
– How have you/HIV positive women been treated in various direct services areas, such as housing, health care, and employment? What about care or services related to your sex life, pregnancy, having children?
Starting July 19th: Local and Regional Policies
– What experiences have you had with policies that affect women with HIV in the town or state where you live? Do you have ideas about ways to improve these policies?
Starting July 26th: International Human Rights and National Policy Strategies
– How should the rights of women be a concrete part of national plans to end HIV? What should federal agencies and officials do to make women’s human rights a specific part of their plans to fight HIV?
Register now and become a part of the national conversation. The real-life experiences of HIV positive women, their loved ones and their advocates can make a real difference in whether the National HIV/AIDS Strategy produces concrete action for women.
To join the forum today — register here, and feel free to complete a survey about your experience, post a comment or both!
The WARC E-Forum is hosted by the Center for HIV Law and Policy (CHLP), and co-facilitated by the American Bar Association Center for Human Rights, American Bar Association AIDS Coordinating Committee, WORLD/Positive Women’s Network, Women of Color United, Latino Commission on AIDS, The National Association of People With AIDS, and HIV Law Project, among other community partners. Participants may join at any time, as often as they wish, and can join in and add to previous discussions.