Do You Have to Disclose to Be a Leader?
PWN-USA Statement on Disclosure and Leadership
We believe that ALL women living with HIV can be leaders and have a home in PWN-USA, regardless of their disclosure choices.
The circle of leaders grows …
This statement was developed by a group of PWN-USA leaders at SPEAK UP! A National Leadership Summit for Women with HIV.
- Disclosure is a continuum, from telling no one to sharing openly with the world. Most women living with HIV travel along the spectrum in their daily lives and aren’t locked into one place.
- We must demand that opportunities exist for participation in planning and policy groups for women along the disclosure spectrum.
- Our disclosure is a gift that WE choose to share; no one should take this choice away from us.
- As positive leaders, we accept that stigma and discrimination are real in our lives. Regardless of our personal disclosure decisions, we defend the right for other women living with HIV to decide what is true for their lives.
- By disclosing our status and speaking our truth, we break the cycle of silence.
- Leaders must be MAD, Make a Difference, and be able to birth a change.
- Power of Disclosure will break the cycle of silence.
- We should not be afraid to speak up, be a voice for others, speak our truth.
- Disclosure can mean different things at different times and look differently to individuals.
- A leader is compassionate, knowledgeable, and professional, and can be effective whether openly disclosed or private about their status.