Monday, April 19, 2010

Pepsi refresh everything #2

press release

HIV Activists join White House to Address HIV Stigma

Stigma is something that the White House Office of AIDS Strategy has identified as a major contributor to the proliferation of HIV/AIDS.  The Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) recently released a report summarizing recommendations from the public for the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.  The report stated, "Even when access to treatment is available, the stigma surrounding an HIV diagnosis may be too great for people to get tested or enroll in care. We heard from many people living with HIV who spoke about the stigma associated with being HIV-positive and its effect on their daily lives.    Many people discussed the ways in which stigma and discrimination contributed to HIV-related racial, geographic, and gender disparities. People also described personal accounts of discrimination and stigma from providers and difficulties in accessing a range of services, including dental care and prenatal care."

There are very few initiatives focused specifically at diminishing stigma surrounding HIV, and people are really just starting to understand the importance of treating the issues of the entire family in order to promote effective prevention and treatment.  HIV Anonymous is a cost effective, self-perpetuating tool for diminishing stigma.

Self proclaimed HIV Ambassador Reggie Smith (HHP) and his heroic wife Dionne, have launched a grassroots initiative focused on delivering "healing solutions" for families affected by HIV.  The W.A.R. (Wellness, Awareness & Recovery) Initiative proposes to "end the stigma surrounding HIV by identifying and solving the unmet needs of families affected by HIV".  At the core of the deliverable solutions for their cause are HIV Anonymous Positive Attitude meetings,12-step support groups for the HIV affected.  The support groups have already begun to proliferate nationwide, while providing an atmosphere for honest sharing that has empowered and enlightened many.  Like Alcoholics Anonymous, it has the potential to encourage millions to be freed from the disabling bondage of self, which is an effective antidote for stigma.

Mr. Smith, an author, activist, TV/radio host, Holistic Health Practitioner, and person living with AIDS for over 25 years, is the executive director of HIV Anonymous (  He and his heroic wife of 25 years understand the dire need for free, self-help programs, especially for "sero-discordant" couples.  To date, Dionne remains HIV negative, and though that reflects the reality for many relationships where one or both persons are HIV+, there is a real dearth of healing solutions or places where open discussion about the issues that couples now face in this new HIV reality.

Dionne, a fierce advocate for those affected by HIV insists "...there is an emotional component to this disease", and "...when one person (in the family) is infected, all are affected".  The White House national study validates her claim, and her 25 years of experience speaks volumes.  The W.A.R. Initiative is a fast rising cause in the Pepsi "Refresh Everything" Project for the month of April ( . Featured in the health category for $250,000, the W.A.R. Initiative, with support from HIV Anonymous is seeking the funding to implement the initiative nationwide by creating face-to-face and online support groups, as well as an online/TV show focused on wellness, awareness and recovery. By voting for this cause in the "Refresh Everything" Project ( you are

HIV Anonymous is a twelve-step support program adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous.  It has been proven that 12-Step programs work.  HIV Anonymous is a fellowship of persons who have found that living with a potentially terminal illness and/or affected by this illness is a major challenge. HIVA Positive Attitudes members are individuals who meet regularly as a group, assisting one another in this new way of life.  There is a dire need to remove the stigma and face the fears and ignorance surrounding HIV/AIDS. The HIVA fellowship is helping to reduce the prejudice and discrimination against HIV/AIDS-affected individuals.

for more information contact:
Reggie Smith

ONAP Releases Report of Community Recommendations for the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

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Posted via email from Reggie Smith's Posterous by SocialNetGate

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