VIDEO: The HIV and Infant Feeding Guidelines at Six Months: Perspectives from National Leaders

Submitted on Jun 21, 2023

This event took place on Friday, June 2, 2023, 12:00 – 2:00 pm PT/3:00 – 5:00 pm ET


For the second year in a row, the 2023 Annual Perinatal HIV Roundtable was co-hosted by The Well Project and the National Clinician Consultation Center, which houses the National Perinatal HIV Hotline. Esteemed panelists, in conversation with one another, discussed how their organizations plan to adjust to, address, and implement the new HIV and infant feeding guidance.

View a compilation of all The Well Project's work on breast/chestfeeding and HIV since 2018

Following the webinar, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand national efforts to disseminate and implement updated infant feeding guidelines
  2. Demonstrate ways to incorporate the needs of people living with HIV into program and protocol development
  3. Discuss best practices in infant feeding across clinics and regions
  4. Connect with others who are facing similar challenges and opportunities in implementing infant feeding programs and protocols

Visit to view the updated guidelines.

View all materials from the 2023 Roundtable and relevant past Roundtables on the Perinatal HIV Hotline's website

Featuring expert panelists:

Laura Cheever, MD, ScM

Please see Dr. Cheever's bio here:

Ciarra "Ci Ci" Covin, MS, is Program Manager at The Well Project She has been a survivor of HIV for more than a decade, diagnosed at the age of 20 in a small rural town in the


Ciarra "Ci Ci" Covin.

southern region of the United States. She has found great strength and healing in using her Master's in Human Services, coupled with raw life experiences, to advocate for those living with HIV. Ci Ci became a blogger for The Well Project's A Girl Like Me in 2018 and a member of its Community Advisory Board in 2020. In her role as Program Manager, she drives implementation of The Well Project programming, including social media, communications, and community-led initiatives.


Antoinette Jones.

Antoinette Jones began her work with HIV advocacy in her early 20s, as a Peer Navigator facilitating access to preventative care and treatment for people living with and at risk for HIV. She identifies as a Vertical Women Living with HIV; meaning she has been living with HIV since Birth. Antoinette was called to peer advocacy to combat the isolation many people born with HIV go through due to the lack of awareness. Antoinette has worked with organizations serving black women and people of transgender experience developing programs, advancements in healthcare services, and mentorship/leadership development. Antoinette is a part of the Dandelions Movement which centers the needs of people born with HIV through mentorship, healing, and peer to peer interventions.

follow the dandelions movement on IG @Dandelions_movement

follow Antoinette on IG @itstheantoinette

Judy Levison, MD, MPH, is a professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. She completed her MD degree from Tufts University in Boston,


Judy Levison, MD, MPH.

her residency in Ob/Gyn at the University of Washington, and her Masters in Public Health from the University of Texas School of Public Health in 2010.

From 2002 to 2022 she led the Harris Health System Women's Program, which provides obstetric and gynecologic care for women living with HIV in Houston, Texas. She is active in educating Texas health care workers about the management of HIV. She is on the national Perinatal Guidelines Panel and provides consultation for the national Perinatal Hotline. Her work in the area of HIV has led her to consult on projects in Swaziland, Namibia, Ukraine, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nepal, and Malawi. Her group is the first in the United States to develop a curriculum for group prenatal care for women living with HIV and to follow the outcomes of this program.


Leslie McGorman, MPPA.

Leslie McGorman, MPPA, joined the American Academy of HIV Medicine in April 2021, where she serves as the Director of Public Policy. In that role, she leads the organization's policy and advocacy strategy to ensure representation of the HIV clinical care team and the Academy's 4,000+ members and credentialed providers. Prior to the Academy, Leslie worked as a consultant for non-profit organizations and political campaigns - including assisting community leaders in COVID-19 response and distribution of community aid.

In addition to serving as a long-time federal lobbyist, Leslie also spent several years at a leading political and advocacy organization focused on preserving and expanding reproductive rights where she led a team of health care lobbyists focused both on state and federal policy issues. Leslie also served as a spokesperson for the organization, as well as a nationally recognized subject matter expert on the status of reproductive rights in the United States.

She received her Master's in Public Policy and Administration degree from California State University, Sacramento and her undergraduate degree in Sociology from Arizona State University.


Heather O'Connor.

Heather O'Connor (she/her) is a woman, wife, and mother living with HIV- diagnosed in 2016. She currently serves as Communications Specialist for Ribbon, a nonprofit organization that provides innovative and culturally-responsive education, programs, and services to health and human service providers and individuals to help facilitate and normalize positive experiences and healthy outcomes within public health systems. Heather is also the Program Coordinator for The Reunion Project, the national alliance for long-term survivors of HIV. Heather is a Community Advisory Board member for The Well Project, a non-profit organization whose mission is to change the course of the HIV/AIDS pandemic through a unique and comprehensive focus on women and girls across the gender spectrum. Heather also sits on the Perinatal Guidelines Panel. Heather is the brainchild of "The Milky Moovement +", a supportive network for mothers/birthing parents with an interest in breast/chestfeeding.

Natella Rakhmanina, MD, is a Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University and serves as a Director of the HIV Program at Children's National Hospital in


Natella Rakhmanina, MD.

Washington, DC, USA. Dr. Rakhmanina obtained her MD degree at People's Friendship University in Moscow, Russia, and her PhD degree in clinical pharmacology at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. For more than 20 years she has been providing care to HIV-infected and HIV-exposed infants, children and adolescents. She is certified in HIV medicine and is a successful clinical researcher, focusing on the treatment and prevention of HIV in children and adolescents and serving as a principal investigator of NIH, CDC and industry funded pediatric and adolescent HIV studies. Dr. Rakhmanina is also a Senior Technical Advisor at Elizabeth Glaser Pediatrics AIDS Foundation leading several projects on pediatric and adolescent HIV treatment in Sub-Saharan African countries. Dr. Rakhmanina is a Chair of the Committee on Pediatric AIDS at the American Academy of Pediatrics, member of the US Department of Health and Human Services Panel on the Pediatric Antiretroviral Therapy and Management Guidelines at the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council in National Institutes of Health, member of the Pediatric Advisory Working Group at the World Health Organization, and a Regent of the Board and Chair of the Bylaws and Inclusivity, Diversity and Equity committees at the American College of Clinical Pharmacology.

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