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.
Written by Susan Mull, HIV+ Woman & Activist
The implementation of intimate partner violence prevention and counseling is near the top of the list of PACHA recommendations. Cicely Bolden was murdered by her boyfriend, Larry Dunn, Jr. after she revealed that she was HIV positive in September of 2012. Many reporters and others who chose to debate her death demonized her and blamed her for her own death. How can this kind of thinking still prevail, 32 years into the HIV/AIDS epidemic? Matt Rodriguez from The Body.com wrote, “In Jesus’ time, leprosy was a disease with a terrible stigma, often contracted sexually, that often led people with leprosy sores to be considered morally deficient outcasts.” These people were marginalized, criminalized, and stigmatized just like people living with HIV/AIDS today. The death of Cicely Bolden reminds all of us that HIV/AIDS is still a crisis! It is a political and educational crisis! With Bolden’s death, we were given a tragic reminder that violence is a direct consequence of the stigma and ignorance that HIV-negative folks create and perpetuate.
While Bolden was murdered in Texas, Kyra Kruz, a 27 year old transgender woman, was murdered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, also in September of 2012. Her killer has not been found and many conversations about her death seemed to make many people shrug their shoulders and question whether there were really efforts made to find her murderer. Number one on the list of PACHA resolutions is to evaluate the effectiveness in addressing the needs of women living with HIV, especially for Black, Latina, and transgender women. How do we end this trend of violence? Kyra Kruz was doing her own part as she was an educator/counselor with the Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative that focuses on HIV/AIDS outreach. The deaths of these women has made many of us realize that we may never reach a state of complacency as long as HIV is criminalized, as long a people living with HIV are demonized, as long as the racial disparities persist in incidence for Black, Latina, and transgender women!
Deaths such as these make the PACHA resolutions seem like words lacking power. Who is implementing these resolutions? Where are the allies of all of us who live our lives as activists and advocates in the arena of HIV/AIDS? Thirty two years into this epidemic are we all putting our lives at risk? I would rather believe that we are putting our collective consciousnesses to work each time we strive to eradicate the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS. I, myself, could not live with a hollow soul, the very soul I would have if I did not embrace this work. My peers in the Positive Women’s Network, the Treatment Action Group, Act Up-Philadelphia, The Campaign To End AIDS and many more organizations meet daily, tirelessly to educate politicians, prospective grantors, pastors, community leaders, celebrities, and other prospective allies so that we can end AIDS! We can end AIDS — not without the implementation of these PACHA resolutions!
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