9 Years of Fierce Leadership: PWN-USA's Accomplishments

9 Years of Fierce Leadership: PWN-USA's Accomplishments 2017-06-15T07:56:27+00:00
Over the past nine years, we’ve trained over thousands of people living with HIV in current policy issues, advocacy strategies, and leadership skills, and have built a vibrant and diverse core of hundreds of accessible, informed advocates across the nation who are women living with HIV reflective of the constituencies most impacted by the epidemic. We’ve convened timely webinars on issues important to our community. In addition to our national work, today, eight robust statewide PWN-USA chapters, each led by women living with HIV, are leading and supporting issue-based campaigns and ensuring the presence of impacted communities at local and state-level decision-making tables in some of the regions most affected by HIV and health inequity. We’ve centered the voices of women with HIV through the release of original research, blogs, and policy recommendations authored by women living with HIV on the future of the Ryan White program; the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, reproductive justice issues; and more. We’ve helped launch and lead a national conversation and secured policy recommendations in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy underscoring the importance of trauma-informed care for people living with HIV. Our members have already helped pass legislation reforming HIV criminalization laws in two states, and are currently leading decriminalization efforts in four others. Check out some more details below!



  • Founding meeting of Positive Women’s Network- USA, 28 women living with HIV, including women of trans experience, gather for herstoric meeting
  • Released Speaking Up and Standing for Change, the first ever set of policy recommendations authored entirely by US women living with HIV submitted to a sitting Presidential administration: the Obama-Biden transition team. Read here.




  • Released our federal policy agenda for U.S. women living with HIV: economic justice, HIV criminalization reform, prevention justice, reproductive justice, and securing women-centered care
  • Published Diagnosis, Sexuality, and Choice, findings and policy recommendations from a survey of US women living with HIV
  • Began to serve as advisor to the National Network to end Domestic Violence to help create a curriculum to cross-train HIV and domestic violence providers
  • Launch work on media accountability and representation of people living with HIV 


  • Hosted Southern Summit to train 50 women living with HIV from the 9 Deep South states in leadership skills
  • Helped organize a PACHA meeting on women and HIV and secured a resolution on women and HIV
  • Served as one of two US community partners for the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC, along with the Black AIDS Institute, hosting a press conference to release new data on the intersections between HIV, violence, and trauma for women.
  • Appeared on Melissa Harris-Perry’s show for World AIDS Day to talk about HIV, stigma, and women
  • Became an autonomous organization led entirely by women living with HIV – board of directors are 100% WLHIV, including women of trans experience and staff are majority women living with HIV and majority women of color



  • Members coauthored a paper with Anna Forbes, MSS, on new prevention technologies, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Women’s Health Issues
  • In response to murders of Cicely Bolden and Elisha Henson, PWN called for a National Day of Action to end Violence against Women Living with HIV <link>
  • Three more PWN members appointed to PACHA
  • Hosted first ever National Leadership Summit for 200 women living with HIV, a three day skills building training for advocates (link to Summit report)
  • Counter Narrative Project, HIV Prevention Justice Alliance, PWN-USA, Transgender Law Center, and Women with a Vision jointly released a statement on Intersectionality, HIV Justice, and the Future of Our Movement



  • Partnered with SERO to host HIV is Not a Crime II National Training Academy in Huntsville, AL
  • Launched PWN Academy, a skills certification program for women living with HIV
  • Released Securing the Future of Women-Centered Care, a policy and research report based on data collected by women living with HIV
  • Hosted second National Leadership Summit, attended by 250 women living with HIV 
  • PWN Colorado successfully led reform of HIV criminalization laws
  • Launched dismantling racism curriculum and workgroup for white women living with HIV
  • Released #PWNVotes electoral organizing toolkit
  • Launched Black women living with HIV workgroup