We started off the day with a review of HIV criminalization laws and facts throughout the United States.
This presentation was done by Adrian Guzman of HIV Law and Policy.
The information set the foundation for how the science behind HIV transmission has not been taken into consideration for the policies that have come into place against people living with HIV and AIDS.
(Saliva cannot transmit HIV, but has been used in court cases as "assault with a deadly weapon" if someone living with HIV has spit or bit someone during a scuffle.)
With this beginning information we could become better advocates to provide equal treatment to all people and change policies that are basically from the DARK AGES and not following the scientific advancements and facts.
Next, we moved into our advocacy component.
How can we advocate and what do we advocate about!
We compiled a large list of topics that affect us and the people around us and ways that we can tackle these subjects.
Some juicy questions that emerged were:
1. What happens AFTER disclosing?
2. What happens in a healthy relationship?
3. What makes Sexual Health Education SCARY to the people in power?
The consensus of the group was that whatever approach we took to advocate around a topic had to:
- Build bridges with people from all walks of life, nations, religions, etc.
- Remove barriers, stigma, and prejudices around the topic
- Educate and Empower!
The best approaches so far have been enhancing our publicity via the internet (promoting fun and accurate information to all), and continuing to host events and provide safe spaces for education to happen!
Let's keep up the good work and continue to grow!