The Day of Action to End Violence Against Women Living With HIV 2016 is marked Sunday, Oct. 23. Led by the Positive Women’s Network–USA, the advocacy efforts aim to “highlighting the many forms of violence impacting women living with HIV and their communities…and to offer solutions and ways that government, institutions and organizations can help prevent and mitigate violence and trauma,” according to a PWN-USA press release.
“Ending violence against WLHIV [women living with HIV] means ending all forms of violence, including state-sanctioned brutality and institutional violence,” states a fact sheet on the topic, explaining that HIV criminalization, policing and incarceration contribute to the high rate of interpersonal violence, sexual assault and trauma among WLHIV.
“This structural violence must also be accounted for as a form of violence against WLHIV, on its own,” according to the fact sheet. “These different forms of violence and trauma lead to poorer mental and physical health outcomes, negatively impacting the ability to engage in healthcare and to maintain adherence to lifesaving medications.”
The press release spells out four demands on the day of action:
- Repeal and reform of laws criminalizing HIV exposure, non-disclosure and transmission
- An end to law enforcement practices that target communities disproportionately impacted by HIV, including people of trans and gender nonconforming experience (TGNC), sex workers, people who use drugs, immigrants, people who are unstably housed, people with mental illness, and communities of color
- An end to stigmatizing and discriminatory interactions, methods of surveillance and brutalization of PLHIV and communities impacted by HIV at the hands of law enforcement
- Elimination of barriers to safe, stable, and meaningful reintegration into the community for those returning home from jail and prison, those with criminal convictions, and the loved ones who support them.
To promote and follow the day of action on social media, look for these hashtags:
#EndVAWHIV #pwnspeaks #DVAM
And join a Twitter chat Monday, Oct. 24, at 2 p.m. EDT.