The Well Project is excited to launch BEEEBAH (Building Equity, Ethics, and Education on Breastfeeding and HIV)! This comprehensive, multi-tiered project expands upon our efforts to increase knowledge and expand access to information around breast/chestfeeding* and HIV. The program is part of our endeavors to address the lack of women-specific information and representation across all areas of HIV prevention, care, research, and policy.
BEEEBAH, which has received a three-year grant from ViiV Healthcare's Positive Action for Women initiative (to date), will address a number of the key programmatic goals identified in the Expert Consensus Statement on Breastfeeding* and HIV in the United States and Canada. Through educational resource creation, leadership development, and collaborative efforts, BEEEBAH will work to ensure that women living with HIV can experience their fundamental right to make informed, uncoerced infant-feeding decisions.
Please click here to see a compilation of all The Well Project's work in this area since 2018.
As BEEEBAH is a brand-new effort, we will be adding new content to this page regularly as programs are rolled out. Please check back often for new educational and multi-media programs that we hope you will share widely! If you are interested in joining the HIV and Infant feeding listserv for updates, please email Olivia Ford.
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD) Event
In honor of NWGHAAD 2022, on March 16, The Well Project hosted "Breast/Chestfeeding and HIV in the US: A Listening Session with National Advocates." (view the chat that took place during the session) The webinar brought together women leaders from US-based organizations to provide updates about community-driven efforts underway to expand knowledge around breast/chestfeeding with HIV, promote provider support for parents living with HIV, change policies to reflect current evidence – and how others can get involved. Featured speakers included:
- Cynthia Gutierrez, HIVE
- Martha Cameron, International Community of Women Living with HIV - North America (ICW-NA)
- Davina Conner, Prevention Access Campaign
- D'Andra Willis, The Afiya Center
- Catherine Hanssens, The Center for HIV Law & Policy
- Jenna Conley, Ci Ci Covin, Olivia Ford, and Krista Martel, The Well Project
- Aryah Lester, Transgender Strategy Center
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Leadership Exchange LIVE: BEEEBAH Edition
Leadership Exchange LIVE: BEEEBAH Edition features live, interactive conversations between thoughtleaders on infant feeding and HIV exploring one another's work, activism, and personal experiences.
For our second session of Leadership Exchange LIVE: BEEEBAH Edition, The Well Project's Ciarra "Ci Ci" Covin was joined by Marielle Gross, MD, MBE, an OB/GYN and bioethicist at the University of Pittsburgh and Johns Hopkins. Ci Ci and Marielle have shared a stage to talk about breast/chestfeeding and HIV before; the two reconnected to discuss race, maternal health, and ethics around infant feeding and HIV - including supporting parents living with HIV to engage in shared, informed infant feeding decision-making.
In the inaugural session of Leadership Exchange LIVE: BEEEBAH Edition, The Well Project's Ciarra "Ci Ci" Covin sat down with pediatric and adult infectious disease physician Allison Agwu, MD, ScM, of Johns Hopkins. Covin related her personal experiences as a woman living with HIV, new parent, and advocate; Agwu shared insights from her work caring for women living with HIV across the lifespan (from pediatrics to adults), including women who choose to breastfeed.
*The language we use around this work includes both "breastfeeding" and "breast/chestfeeding." While our organization focuses on cis and trans women living with HIV, we strive to include trans men, nonbinary individuals, and others living with HIV who wish to explore feeding a child from their body. We acknowledge that there are multiple terms to describe this process.