The Well Project is thrilled to announce the launch of our newest program, A Girl Like Me LIVE!, an interactive, livestreaming series created to advance health and wellness education among women living with and vulnerable to HIV. Taking place every other Wednesday from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET, The Well Project program coordinator Ciarra "Ci Ci" Covin will partner with a variety of co-hosts to chat about key topics in our communities. Each episode will be broadcast live to The Well Project’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Episode 15: Self-Stigma and Dating – Janaury 26, 2022
People living with HIV can hold negative beliefs about HIV that cause them to stigmatize themselves (also known as internalized stigma). For many women living with HIV, the negative stories we tell ourselves have more consequences than the stigma we’re subject to from others. Self-stigma can be particularly challenging when it comes to what we believe we deserve when dating. Tune in to the 15th episode of A Girl Like Me LIVE, where Ci Ci will join Michelle Anderson of The Afiya Center to have a vulnerable conversation about how stigma, especially internalized stigma, can affect the dating choices and experiences of women living with HIV. Join us for this powerful conversation as we discuss the impact of the stories that we tell ourselves.
Future dates and topics of future episodes to be posted here soon. Check back often!
Episode 14: Why Language Matters – December 15, 2021
Throughout their lives, women may experience multiple forms of oppression and discrimination based on gender, race, sexual identity, socioeconomic status, or other factors. The oppression and discrimination are often reinforced through language. Adding an HIV diagnosis can magnify this oppression and affect self-worth, confidence, and self-identity. The words that are used to talk about people living with HIV affect the way people living with HIV feel about themselves. In the fourteenth episode of A Girl Like Me LIVE, Ci Ci joins long-term survivor Vickie Lynn in speaking about the significance of the language we use to talk about HIV. Watch the final discussion of 2021 as these two extraordinary women talk about why the language we use is important, how we can bring awareness to its importance, and what people can do to evoke change.
Episode 13: Transgender Day of Remembrance – November 17, 2021
People of trans experience, particularly women and femmes of color, endure targeting for horrendous acts of violence and even murder in racist, sexist, transphobic, anti-Black societies around the world, including the US. This terrible fact gave rise to Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), on which we honor our family of trans experience who have lost their lives to various forms of violence. It has also evolved into a day to honor and lift up the immense power, creativity, collective survival, community healing, and mutual aid that so many individuals and communities of trans experience embody and model. For our 13th episode of A Girl Like Me LIVE, honoring TDOR, Ciarra "Ci Ci" Covin is joined by Tiommi Jenae Luckett, an activist and emerita member of The Well Project's CAB, to discuss the importance of remembrance and resilience.
Episode 12: Disclosure to Non-HIV Providers – November 3, 2021
There is no one "best" way to tell others (disclose) that you are living with HIV. It may be important to share that information with health providers other than your HIV care provider so that you can get the best possible care. But who do you tell; how do you start that conversation; and what is helpful to be prepared for? On the 12th episode of A Girl Like Me LIVE, our host Ciarra "Ci Ci" Covin explores these questions and more along with CAB member Bridgette Picou, a licensed vocational nurse and a woman living with HIV. Bridgette shares her expertise on both sides of the client-provider relationship.
Episode 11: COVID 19 Vaccination, Clinical Trials, and Why They Matter – October 20, 2021
As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, staying connected to our community and sharing up-to-date information is key. In the 11th episode of A Girl Like Me LIVE, Ci Ci, Community Advisory Board chair Gina Brown, RSW and Oni Blackstock, MD discuss the COVID-19 vaccine, clinical trials, and more about what you need to know to keep yourself safe.
Ms. Brown speaks about her initial hesitancy and ultimate path to getting the vaccine, including the questions she posed to doctors she trusts, which helped her make her decision. Dr. Blackstock provides invaluable provider insights and answer questions you may have about the vaccine – including around the Delta variant and boosters. Check out this very important discussion.
Episode 10: Honoring National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day – October 6, 2021
In the 10th episode of A Girl Like Me LIVE, honoring National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day (#NLAAD), which is observed each year on October 15 and aims to increase awareness of the impact of HIV on US Latinx populations, we invited Community Advisory Board member Arianna Lint and Global Ambassador Maria Mejia to join us in leading this conversation about HIV and the Latinx community, including those of trans experience.
Let's talk about sex! The ninth episode of A Girl Like Me LIVE was a fun conversation between Kimberly Canady, Aryah Lester, and Olivia G. Ford, in celebration of Sexual Health Month.
Some women may feel that their dating and sexual lives are over once they receive a positive HIV diagnosis and this does not have to be true! While HIV can affect one's self-esteem and confidence, it is important to understand that you deserve love and affection and to know that it is possible to receive it in positive and healthy ways. This is something worth celebrating!
Stop in and listen to this exciting conversation as these women navigate positive sexual health while living with HIV. You're not going to want to miss this one!
National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day is honored on September 18th of each year to bring attention to the many, many people who are living long and fulfilling lives with HIV and to also highlight their distinct needs.
The eighth episode of A Girl Like Me LIVE was a dialogue between Ci Ci, Gina Brown, and Porchia Dees, during which they discussed the unique experiences of women who have been living with HIV over the course of many years. Two different perspectives were highlighted in this conversation – long-term survivors who were diagnosed as adults and those who were diagnosed as babies.
In a space created to listen to voices of women living with HIV as they express their needs and describe how they think those needs should be addressed, they cover topics including the dramatic impact of HIV treatment, important social issues that don’t always get enough attention in the conversation around HIV/AIDS, and what aging truly means to them.
Episode 7: Parenting and Sharing Your HIV Status with Your Kids: co-hosted by Ci Ci Covin, Ieshia Scott, and Destiny Smith – August 25, 2021
In our seventh episode of A Girl Like Me LIVE, Ci Ci talked with Community Advisory Board Members Ieshia Scott and Destiny Smith about parenting and sharing your HIV status with your kids.
Living with HIV has its challenges and so does parenting. This discussion highlights how these mothers have managed their HIV diagnoses while parenting, how they talk to their children about HIV, and tips they have for other parents living with the diagnosis.
No approach is one-size-fits-all and this is part of what we explore during our conversation. Learn tips on how to talk to your children about HIV and gain support from our diverse community with these wonderful mothers during this episode.
Make sure to check out this amazing and vulnerable conversation!
In this episode of A Girl Like Me LIVE, Ci Ci talked with Heather O'Connor of International Community of Women Living With HIV North America about Breastfeeding and HIV, in honor of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month.
As mothers, these two amazing advocates discussed their personal experiences around the information they received from providers concerning their ability to breastfeed, how they have chosen to make informed decisions to feed their children, and the work that they have done to assist other parents to make the best choices for them and their families.
You do not want to miss this informative discussion between two mothers fighting for the right to feed their children as they choose.
In this episode of A Girl Like Me LIVE, Ci Ci talked with Community Advisory Board member Masonia Traylor about pregnancy and HIV. These two powerful advocates dispelled the myths and misinformation that continue today despite decades of science and evidence proving that women living with HIV can have healthy pregnancies. Ci Ci and Masonia shared their personal experiences being pregnant while living with HIV—including Ci Ci's current pregnancy!
In the fourth episode of A Girl Like Me LIVE, Ci Ci talked with Community Advisory Board member Katie Willingham about U=U (Undetectable = Untransmittable). These amazing leaders talked about what U=U means to them and the impact that learning about it has had on their lives. They also discussed their experiences sharing the message with others in the community, including providers!
In the third episode of A Girl Like Me LIVE, Ci Ci talked with Community Advisory Board Chair Gina Brown, RSW about COVID-19 vaccination. These two inspiring women discussed Gina’s personal experience with the COVID-19 vaccine, clinical trials, vaccine hesitancy, and more.
In the second episode of A Girl Like Me LIVE, Ci Ci talked with Community Advisory Board Member Marissa Gonzalez about Dating and Disclosure. These two phenomenal leaders described their personal experiences with disclosure along their journeys living with HIV, offered tips for others, and discussed challenges they have faced.
The first episode of A Girl Like Me LIVE commemorated both the 40th anniversary of the first reports of what would come to be known as HIV and honor HIV Long-Term Survivors' Day (they share the date of June 5). In our premiere episode, Ci Ci moderated an important conversation among four long-term survivors from our community advisory board (current and emerita): Porchia Dees, Vickie Lynn, Maria Mejia, and Ieshia Scott.