To commemorate International Workers’ Day (a.k.a. May Day), a new initiative has been launched to change the conversation and the policies of the HIV/AIDS community from poverty to income and from economic instability to security and independence. The HIV Economic Empowerment Campaign was launched by the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance, the National Working Positive Coalition and the Positive Women’s Network USA.

The groups are asking Douglas Brooks, the new director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, to follow through on employment-related promises in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Those promises include expansion of employment opportunities for people living with the virus and for coordination across federal agencies. To achieve such coordination, the groups seek a federal interagency task force on HIV/AIDS and employment.

The groups argue that the communities most affected by HIV/AIDS also have higher rates of poverty, unemployment, under-employment and employment discrimination, as well as unequal access to education, employment opportunities and protections. As a result, they want every HIV-positive person to be able to make well-informed decisions about economic opportunities through the coordinated use of information, education, counseling and benefit planning.

For a campaign summary, click here. For campaign infographics, click here and here. Go to for more information and to sign on to the campaign.