December #160 : BABES With AIDS - by Willette Francis

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues

Table of Contents

Our Best Shot

How Stigma Kills

Hero Worship

Staying in Care

Peace of Mind

Hello, Aloe!

Tip Sheet

Fewer C's

New Guides for Kids

And We Quote

Gifts that Give

Spin Cycle

Viewer Discretion

Crimson Tide


Fine(r) China

Muy Bien

Self-Prescribed Therapy


Editor's Letter-December 2009

Your Feedback-December 2009

GMHC Treatment Issues-December 2009

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

Scroll down to comment on this story.

email print

December 2009


by Willette Francis

Pat Migliore found out she was HIV positive 25 years ago. Back then, she discovered, there were plenty of support groups in Seattle—for men only. She embarked on a quest to meet other women living with the virus. Soon, she befriended Kass Anderton and Allison Hunter, and within five years of Migliore’s diagnosis, the three cofounded BABES Network.

“[We began because of] a lack of services for women. [We wanted to] help end the isolation we were feeling,” Migliore says. To find positive women in need of support, the founders reached out to doctors, social workers and case managers. Through these connections, the organization expanded rapidly and outgrew its meeting space.

It was at one of those early meetings—during a group discussion on everyone’s favorite topics, sex and relationships—where the name, BABES, was born. “We were always being told how toxic we were,” Migliore recalls. “So one of the women stood up and said, ‘I was a babe before AIDS, and I’m still a babe.’” And everyone agreed: We’re BABES with AIDS. The name embodied their differences from men living with the virus and showed the world that their sense of humor would remain intact.

Now, 20 years later, BABES is no longer an independent nonprofit—it is a YWCA program. The 
result? They’re BABES Network-YWCA, and they’re better than ever. “It has worked out really well,” says Migliore, noting the potential crossover in the women each group serves. In addition, she says, “It has helped our women receive services that they haven’t had access to, and it has opened the door to do some inreach to other YWCA branches.”

BABES has birthed many successful programs, including the HIV/AIDS Outreach and Prevention Education (HOPE) project, which trains people living with the virus to share their stories with the public at venues ranging from juvenile centers to senior centers. It’s one way they help educate about the epidemic, combat stigma and stop the spread of HIV. And BABES members raise money to benefit HIV-positive women by making and selling their popular Booga Bags.

BABES has changed the lives of many women and girls (and men) in Seattle and the surrounding communities. Here’s to another 20 years of inspiring hope, giving support and creating awareness to those affected by and living with HIV/AIDS.            

For more information, visit   

Search: Seattle, support group, isolation, services, meetings, organization, sex, relationships, YWCA, juveniles centers, senior centers

Scroll down to comment on this story.


(will display; 2-50 characters)


(will NOT display)


(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The POZ team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include either ":" or "@" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules

Show comments (0 total)

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Has a pet helped you deal with your HIV?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.