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Your Brighter Future Starts Here
Why You Should Join The Denver Principles Project
By generating a large and empowered NAPWA membership, The Denver Principles Project will move NAPWA closer to realizing the dream of a representational national voice for people with HIV/AIDS envisioned at NAPWA’s founding in 1983. With a strong membership—and all the participation, involvement, scrutiny and accountability that implies, NAPWA will become more closely aligned with the vibrant community it represents, and its voice will be that much more compelling and effective.
A single national organization of people living with HIV/AIDS will result in enormous efficiency in the way aggregate data on our perspectives and experiences are collected and leveraged to improve our lives. It could potentially help many AIDS organizations, large and small, save money by eliminating expensive redundancy. The wisdom contained in our collective knowledge, once all identifying information has been removed, will be made available for Denver Principles Project participants to access and use.
For many years, fearing discrimination, criminalization and stigmatization, the HIV community was understandably afraid to come forward on any level. But thanks to modern technology that can easily protect people’s privacy while giving them a channel through which to safely share their stories, information and feedback, more and more people have been willing to contribute to the collective knowledge of what it’s like to live with HIV.
For 15 years, POZ has listened to your stories, fears, complaints, successes and advice. With each passing month, more and more of you take our polls and surveys, e-mail us, write us letters, comment on our website or blogs, participate in our forums or communicate with each other privately through Mentors or POZ Personals. Your trust in our technological expertise and our respect for your privacy have allowed us to get a great deal more feedback that helps us write about what’s important to you and answer the questions you pose. Imagine if that same wealth of knowledge could be shared, securely and privately, among yourselves and with lots of other groups trying to best answer your needs?
The Denver Principles Project provides a platform for, and invites, every member of the HIV community to share his or her concerns, provide feedback, participate in polls and share his or her thoughts on the community’s priorities. The more of NAPWA’s members who participate, the more representative, and therefore authoritative, our collective knowledge about the needs and preferences of people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States will be. POZ and NAPWA will ensure the confidentiality of all members and will represent your views with full integrity.
Our collective knowledge can allow each individual member to tap into the experiences of tens of thousands—and one day, hundreds of thousands—of other members in order to learn about treatment, lifestyle and social issues. In other words, anyone who joins NAPWA will no longer be alone—members will have the advice of thousands of friends to help them better understand how to live with, treat someone for, develop treatments for and provide support services to those who are HIV positive.
For people working at AIDS service organizations (ASOs) and other community-based groups, our collective knowledge can provide insight into how they can improve the services they provide us. Our collective knowledge will result in the development and distribution of comprehensive online and print resources and educational materials to local organizations participating in The Denver Principles Project.
For national organizations that represent specific communities, access to our collective knowledge will help their leaders better understand our needs; in particular, it will enable them to assess the needs of particular segments of the HIV community in order to better position their organization to attract funding for their specific needs.
For health care professionals and researchers, our collective knowledge will allow them to develop best practices and lobby the government for more funding for tactics that work, based on collective evidence provided by people living with and affected by HIV. Participation in The Denver Principles Project may also allow medical professionals to inform the membership of specific services and clinical trials.
The power of The Denver Principles Project is illustrated in our recent experience with the American Psychological Association (APA). A partnership among POZ, NAPWA, APA and AIDSmeds allowed the APA to survey the POZ audience. In addition, these four groups and other organizations that join The Denver Principles Project may use the data and findings to develop standards of care and best practices for the mental well-being of people living with HIV; those best practices will then be distributed widely. As a result, the mental health concerns of the HIV community will be supported and addressed in a manner that reflects their everyday experiences and personal needs.
A second example of the impact of The Denver Principles Project is how the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC) plans to work with POZ, AIDSmeds and NAPWA. The member nurses of ANAC will encourage HIV-positive individuals to support The Denver Principles Project and join NAPWA. When the people they treat become members, the nurses will help them answer surveys about their needs and experiences. The resulting collective data will help ANAC, AIDSmeds and other organizations analyze what type of information is needed for nurses who treat people living with HIV. That insight will be used to create continuing education (CE) programs for ANAC’s nurses. In turn, these CE programs will be offered to all ANAC members and, perhaps more important, to nurses who do not specialize in HIV/AIDS care. The result will greatly improve and expand an understanding of best practices for all nurses as they assist and care for people living with HIV.
Simply put, The Denver Principles Project will gather previously unavailable information and daylight it in a national, secure, accessible, functioning, collective knowledge base that will benefit everyone living with and affected by HIV as well as every organization currently working for the betterment of the whole HIV community.
The Benefits of The Denver Principles Project
All supporters of The Denver Principles Project who are members of the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA)—including people living with HIV/AIDS, health care providers and organizations—will be invited to answer surveys and give feedback. This feedback will be assembled in a user-friendly search engine—once all identifying information has been removed. The more people who participate, the more information there will be about what it means to live with HIV/AIDS today. All this valuable information will help greatly improve the vital services provided to people living with HIV/AIDS on both local and national levels.
Our collective knowledge will:
- Provide AIDS service organizations (ASOs) and other providers—including our doctors and nurses—insight into our real-world experiences.
- Inform our regional and national leaders, especially those fighting for our rights and necessary services, about our needs, concerns and fears as well as ways we can contribute to help improve our care.
- Provide the leaders of our community with a better understanding of our specific needs so they can better represent us when lobbying for policies, laws and budgets on Capitol Hill.
- Provide health care professionals and researchers with our real-life experiences so they can develop best practices.
- Help us learn more about important advocacy campaigns and specific services being offered by ASOs and health care providers (including cutting-edge clinical trials), in a single online location—all while maintaining our need for privacyand anonymity.
- Allow us to learn more about other positive people’s treatments, lifestyles and social experiences so we can all enjoy the healthiest, best lives possible!
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