By Krista Martel, Executive Director
2019 has been an exciting year for The Well Project, for many reasons: we released our five-year strategic plan, added five new fact sheets to our ever-growing library, doubled our Spanish fact sheets, launched fact sheets in Hindi, and convened an important meeting on living with HIV over the long term through our Women’s Research Initiative on HIV/AIDS.
Perhaps, most exciting, we doubled down on our commitment to build leadership among women living with HIV. Why does this work matter? Community leaders inspire others living with HIV to end their own self-stigma and value their worth. Community leaders advocate for the needs of their community and impact policy and research. Community leaders galvanize others to become leaders themselves. It is imperative to continue to increase the number and diversity of community leaders so that every voice is represented across all efforts to address the HIV epidemic.
One of the ways we’ve been successful in these efforts is by significantly expanding our conference presence*, making presentations and supporting attendance by our community advisory board members and A Girl Like Me bloggers. Including women living with HIV as co-authors and/or presenters at almost every conference we attend has enabled us to meaningfully develop leadership and capacity within the community we serve.
Our recent survey showed The Well Project has positively impacted women’s leadership and advocacy development in a variety of ways:
We look forward to continuing this momentum and to sharing our continued learnings from the conferences we attend and the presentations we conduct!
Happy New Year!
*Some of our presence at 2019 conferences include:
- Iris House Annual Women’s Summit, May 2019
- A Girl Like Me: Building Community and Advocacy Through Blogging (Gina Brown, MSW, Ciarra Coleman, Krista Martel
- IAPAC Adherence Conference, June 2019
- Breastfeeding with HIV: Optimizing Informed Choices in the Era of "U=U," (Krista Martel, Shannon Weber, MPH, Olivia Ford)
- Conversations from Adherence 2019: Advancing Discussions of Infant Feeding Choices in the U=U Era (published conference update)
- USCA, September 2019
- Breastfeeding and HIV in the Era of U=U: Research, Policy, and Lived Experiences (Krista Martel, Marielle Gross, MD, Ciarra Coleman, Claire Gasamagera)
- Let’s Talk About Sex, October 2019
- U Equals U and Reproductive Justice: Building Hope, Ending HIV Stigma (Masonia Traylor, Wanona Thomas, Olivia Ford)
- ANAC Annual Meeting, November 2019
- Why Language Matters: Facing HIV Stigma in Our Own Words (Vickie Lynn, PhD, Jenna Conley)
2020 potential conference attendance and presentations include:
- CROI, March 2020
- 10th International Workshop on HIV & Women, March 2020
- TX Black Women Rise Up Reproductive Justice Summit, March 2020
- ACOG, April 2020:
- Iris House Annual Women’s Summit, May 2020
- The National Conference on Social Work and HIV/AIDS, May 2020
- IAPAC Adherence Conference, June 2020
- AIDS 2020, July 2020
- USCA, October 2020