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Webinar Recap: Examining Black Women’s Health at the Intersection of HIV, IPV, and the Criminal Legal System

| Reproaction

By: Evonnia Woods

In May, Reproaction and the Missouri HIV Justice Coalition co-sponsored a webinar      discussion with HIV educators and advocates on the impact of HIV and HIV stigma on Black women’s health and well-being. This discussion was moderated by Molly Pearson, the HIV Organizer at Empower Missouri, and Evonnia Woods, the Missouri Organizer at Reproaction. Panelists featured Kneeshe Parkinson, founder of ~KneesheSpeaksSTL; Jay Marie Hill, Trans Justice Organizer at ACLU-MO; Amir Sadeghi, the National Community Outreach Coordinator at HIV Law and Policy; and Antoinette Jones, Peer Navigator at SisterLove, Inc.

Sixty-five attendees listened to panelists speak about what motivated their HIV advocacy work. Panelists provided general information about HIV that included their assessments of why so many people believe outdated and debunked information. Panelists discussed the significance of transmission rates for Black cisgender and transgender women. The statistics that grounded this portion of the discussion are that Black women account for 60 percent of all women who contract HIV annually, and 44 percent of Black trans women are living with HIV. [1][2]

In Missouri, people living with HIV are subject to prosecution under an HIV statute that was created out of fear and bigotry in the 1980s when less was known about the virus. Click on the image below to watch the webinar discussion and learn about how the criminalization of HIV & AIDS has detrimental effects that are compounded by the fact that 30 percent of Black women will suffer from intimate partner violence in their lifetime. [3]

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Resources for further engagement:

  • Positive Women’s Network: Resource guide. [4]
  • Fact sheet: Intimate Partner Violence and Women Living with HIV [5]
  • Center for HIV Law and Policy:
  • Toolkit: Intersection of Sex Work and HIV Criminalization [6]
  • Consensus Statement: “Treatment as Prevention” in Criminal Law Reform [7]
  • Consensus Statement: The Rights of Youth in State Custody [8]

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  1. Bradley et al. “Disparities in Incidence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Among Black and White Women — United States, 2010–2016.” Center for Disease Control and Prevention, May 10, https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6818a3.htm?s_cid=mm6818a3_w
  2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “HIV and Transgender People.” https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/gender/transgender/index.html
  3. Women of Color Network Facts and Stats http://www.doj.state.or.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/women_of_color_network_facts_domestic_violence_2006.pdf
  4. Positive Women’s Network: Resource guide Addressing a Crisis Within a Crisis: Intimate Partner Violence, HIV, and COVID-19
  5. Fact sheet: Intimate Partner Violence and Women Living with HIV
  6. Toolkit: Intersection of Sex Work and HIV Criminalization
  7. Consensus Statement: “Treatment as Prevention” in Criminal Law Reform
  8. Consensus Statement: The Rights of Youth in State Custody
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