There are several terms with similar meanings that are used to describe HIV transmission at birth or early in life, and those who acquired HIV this way. Some terms come from the community itself, while others are more clinical – and some may be considered stigmatizing.
It may be confusing for those who do not share this experience to know what term they ought to use. Many who were in attendance at the 2023 US Conference on HIV/AIDS (USCHA 2023) were able to witness a historic moment: Members of this community took to the plenary stage and identified, for themselves, that they are to be referred to as "Lifetime Survivors" and/or "Dandelions." More listening, more opportunities and spaces for women who acquired HIV early to connect, and more following the lead of these women – who have spent a lifetime figuring out how to meet their needs, with few models – are essential as this movement moves forward.
On this very special episode of A Girl Like Me LIVE, host Ciarra "Ci Ci" Covin was joined by three dynamic women: The Well Project community advisory board member Kim Canady and Dandelions, Inc., co-executive directors Antoinette Jones and Derinthia Williams. The four discussed the importance of identity, language, the Dandelions Movement, a USCHA 2023 recap, and more. This episode was a great one!