HIV Positive Women and Political Advocacy
There is a growing epidemic of HIV/AIDS among women in the U.S., making women the new “face” of this disease. Women with HIV/AIDS face unique social and biological risk factors, as well as unique challenges, since women with HIV/AIDS tend to be poorer than their male counterparts and more likely to be the primary caregiver for children. However, because of the continuing legacy of HIV/AIDS funding going towards policies and programs that address men’s issues, women’s challenges continue. Today, there is growing activism among HIV-positive women who seek to change policies to better support their peers. The current paper investigates how women with HIV/AIDS advocate for social policy changes in the U.S. Specifically, I seek to better understand the barriers to political involvement that face HIV-positive women and the ways in which organizations can be supportive of this sort of action. My research is designed to: 1. Increase the effectiveness of established advocacy programs 2. Help other AIDS service organizations to develop new advocacy programs and, 3. To encourage their clients to be involved in influencing the policies that shape their daily lives. This research was conducted in collaboration with the Policy and Advocacy Department of The Women’s Collective, which is a non-profit organization in Washington, DC, led by women with HIV and their allies/advocates. The organization has been working for 15 years to serve the needs of HIV-positive women in Washington, DC and beyond. Their mission is “to meet the self-defined needs of women and their families living with and at risk for HIV/AIDS, reducing barriers to care and strengthening their network of support and services.”
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Lester, Patricia; Partridge, John Colin; Chesney, Margaret A.; Cooke, Molly (1995-11-01)As more women of childbearing age are affected by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), many providers have demanded routine perinatal HIV screening, arguing that the medical benefits of testing outweigh the socioeconomic, ...