Category Archives: Resources

Stolen Innocence

Nearly 1 in 5 women in the United States will have experienced rape or attempted rape during their lifetime.

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), sexual violence is defined as any type of unwanted sexual contact. This can include words or actions of a sexual nature against a person’s will and without their consent. Consent is a mutual agreement to take part in sexual activity.

Unfortunately, survivors of sexual abuse often know the person who assaulted them. Studies also show that people who sexually abuse usually target someone they know — a friend, classmate, neighbor, coworker, or relative.

In 2005-10, about 55% of rape or sexual assault victimizations occurred at or near the victim’s home, and another 12% occurred at or near the home of a friend, relative, or acquaintance.

Together, we can change the conditions that contribute to sexual violence.

You can learn the facts about sexual violence and play an active role in changing misconceptions. Prevention starts with believing survivors when they disclose. In your personal life, you can model supportive relationships and behaviors and speak up when you hear sexist, racist, or homophobic comments.

If you are unsure of how to speak up, simply saying a statement like “I feel offended by you saying that” or simply expressing your discomfort with a matter would be a good way to start that conversation.

If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual violence, please contact the following:

Resources:
National Sexual Violence Resource Center
877-739-3895
www.nsvrc.org

Hotlines:
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
800-656-4673
https://rainn.org/get-help                                                                     

The National Domestic Violence Hotline
800-799-7233
http://www.thehotline.org/help

 

 

I am my Brother/Sister’s Keeper: Fight HIV/AIDS

As February commences, we all have a lot to celebrate: Valentine’s Day, Black History Month and the fact that we have a 29th day this month!

With all this in mind, we must also remember that this month, our community will also be celebrating National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on February 7, 2016! According to the Center for Disease and Control, in 2014, 44% of new HIV diagnoses in the United States were among African Americans showing that this community is disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. Now in its 16th year, the national HIV testing and treatment community mobilization initiative focuses on the Black community in the United States.

2016 Theme:

I am my Brother/ Sister’s Keeper: Fight HIV/AIDS

Awareness Day includes four areas of focus, urging people to get:

1. Educated: Inform Black communities about the basics of HIV and AIDS.

2. Tested: Get tested and know your status. This supports the prevention of HIV, specifically those who are considered high risk.

3. Involved: Host and participate in Black Awareness Day events in the Black community– from organizing testing events to supporting AIDS organizations and providers.

4. Treated: Connect those who have been diagnosed with HIV to treatment and care. This will keep people healthy, living longer and reducing the chances of transmission.

How will you encourage people from ALL communities to get involved and stop the spread of HIV/AIDS?

For more information, please visit: http://nationalblackaidsday.org/

HIV Criminalization Workshop in Tallahassee

Another LTAI member and I were fortunate enough to attend a workshop on HIV Criminalization in Tallahassee this week. I learned so much and again I was energized by the ambition and strength of these people. Many of them we had met at the Conference in Fort Walton Beach in September. These people work tirelessly toward all our goals against stigma and criminalization. We had some great speakers and I think we may have gained some more much needed support in Tallahassee. And I can not forget to mention our wonderful friends from Iowa. From SERO Sean Strub, Tami Haught, and Jordan Selha. This group of people have accomplished so much in Iowa toward de-criminalization of HIV. We’re very fortunate to have them all showing us the steps we need to take toward our own state laws in Florida.

Bringing more people together with different views and ideas including their accomplishments is extremely helpful.


Thank you Sean, Tami, and Jordan. We love you guys.  😉
I can’t wait to meet you all again.

Just Released–The National HIV/AIDS Strategy

The US Government just released the following infographic which looks at the top 5 changes concerning HIV/AIDS, since 2010.

National HIV/AIDS Strategy
National HIV/AIDS Strategy


Also, today was the release of the complete National HIV/AIDS Strategy which looks at the next five years and what they hope is accomplished. The Strategy states that it is designed to “work closer to virtually eliminating new HIV infections, effectively supporting all people living with HIV to lead long and healthy lives and eliminating the disparities that persist among some populations.”

You can download the Strategy at:   http://1.usa.gov/1SkAseK

What are your thoughts about the infographic?

 Are there other items you would like to see addressed? 

Advocacy and Determination

When being an advocate, determination is a major factor in what drives our passion and cause. Being determined to fight and voice our opinions is how we have achieved so much progress in our fight against HIV/AIDS and how we will continue to do so.

The “D” in Advocacy is for “Determination”

Determination can take many shapes and forms, but one of the easiest ways to showcase our determination is by attending rallies, demonstrations, or events where we can actively advocate for HIV/AIDS and share our passion and our voice.

An example of this, for those living in Florida, is the 27th annual AIDS WALK MIAMI event, which is a 5k walk-a-thon fundraiser benefiting those who have been affected by HIV/AIDS in our South Florida communities. This event will be held on Sunday April 26th, 2015 in Miami Florida.

http://www.aidswalkmiami.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1112156

Rallies and demonstrations like the one listed above are always being organized throughout the US. If they aren’t happening in your communities, we as advocates can take the first step and organize such rallies and demonstrations and share our determination and passion with those around us.

The following link is a calendar of events being held across the US that we can all get involved in and support.

http://www.poz.com/calendar.shtml

Share with us a comment below how you showcase your determination when it comes to fighting against HIV/AIDS?

Advocacy—Actively Supporting a Cause, Idea or Policy

During the upcoming months, LTAI members will be exploring their role in advocacy. Join us each week as we look at different elements of advocacy.

Advocacy requires action and engagement to truly advocate in support of a cause. Taking action such as, writing letters and making calls and being active in our communities, organizations, and within our social groups is the first and probably most important step in becoming an advocate for HIV/AIDS.

The “A” in Advocacy stands for “Action”

One easy way to take action in your community is by volunteering or getting involved in HIV/AIDS service organizations. These could be with small community groups or large national organizations, but either way you can make a difference.

The following are links to directories where you can look for HIV/AIDS service organizations around your area, so that you can take action today!

Three local groups:

GAAP: http://www.gaaponline.org/

PEP: http://alachua.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/wellness-programs/www-313-hiv/support-groups.html

and of course us at Let’s Talk About It: http://www.rwhp.org/letstalk.html

National Organizations:

http://www.thebody.com/index/hotlines/other.html#Florida

http://directory.poz.com/

What are some ways that you take action in your community? Share your thoughts with us in a comment below and let us know what advocacy means to you!

Sisterhood and New Beginnings

The Woman of LTAI are proud to announce the upcoming release of their second magazine, “Let’s Talk about it” volume 2 titled “Put Yourself First”. This magazine follows the LTAI women on their journey of growth and acceptance as they support and inspire each other in their fight against HIV. This magazine highlights the importance of advocacy as the women share their stories, tips, recommendations, and personal victories with their peers and community.

This month we will share with you an excerpt from the magazine titled “Sisterhood” where the LTAI women share with you what sisterhood means to them and how they have been able to find a loving and supportive family through “Let’s Talk About It”. Check back every week to read these amazing testimonials and get ready for the release of the second LTAI Magazine on December 1st 2014.

Here is what the women have to say about sisterhood:

 “I’m never alone. It is so good to be with women who have been where I’ve been and are sharing the same struggles. I love this group of women like family.”

“To be empowered and finally have a voice. To be heard and strengthened by my peers. “

If you would like a copy of the second LTAI Magazine or if you would like more information about LTAI and our monthly meetings, let us know in a comment below!