What is C2EA and what do we do?

The Campaign to End AIDS (C2EA) is a diverse, exciting coalition of people living with HIV & AIDS, their advocates and their loved ones. Together, we're demanding that our leaders exert the political will to stop the epidemic, in the U.S. and abroad, once and for all.

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On November 7th, C2EA in conjunction with the HIV Law and Policy Center, the Ohio AIDS Coalition, Nueva Luz Urban Resource Center, and Ursuline Piazza hosted a forum on HIV criminalization. There were well over 75 community members and professionals in attendance. The program began with a short video on women and HIV criminalization laws . After that an Ohio lawyer presented a very thorough overview of the Ohio criminalization laws, discussing and outlining several actual cases that have been prosecuted. There was a very lengthy and interactive question-and-answer period that followed.

To end the program, three Ohio advocates – William Booth, Olga Erwin, and I – spoke about their involvement with the Positive Justice Project. I, being the driving force behind bringing this program to Ohio, spoke of how one person can make a difference when it comes to advocacy. All three of us advocates were from different parts of the state. I am from Cleveland, where the program was held, Mr. Booth is from Dayton and brought over twenty PLWA’s with him, and Ms. Erwin is from Youngstown. They each went on to talk about actual prosecutions in their areas and the personal impact that living under these laws has had on them.

Overall the attendees felt it was very informative and were eager for more information on how they could get involved. This is another good example of how C2EA has empowered me as a National Steering Committee member with the tools and resources to make a change. If it wasn’t for a C2EA presence in Ohio, this HIV criminalization forum would have been just a thought and dream. C2EA Ohio is definitely moving forward. Also C2EA member Naimah O’Neal was present in a professional capacity to lend her support. This program serves as a testament of what C2EA advocacy can and will do.

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