Tuesday, March 24, 2015

#HIVIsNOTaCrime Conference Call TOMORROW to address HIV Criminalization Bills in Texas


The Sero Project and the Texas HIV/AIDS Coalition (THAC) are hosting a Texas HIV Criminalization Conference Call tomorrow (Wednesday, March 25th) at 4:00 pm Eastern (which is 3:00 pm Central).
The state of Texas is now considering legislation that would directly impact the lives of people living with HIV, in some ways in a VERY negative manner. We need as many people as possible to join the call to discuss these bills and what we can do about them!!! Please RSVP Cindy Stine at: cindy.stine@seroproject.com to RSVP for this call and to obtain the call-in information.

The following text, taken from a recent article in the Dallas Voice, describes the extent of the problem:  

"Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, filed SB 779, which would use a crime suspect’s HIV status against them if they knowingly infected the victim with HIV. SB 1705, also filed by Huffman and its companion HB 2395 by Rep. Rick Miller, R-Sugar Land, would allow a court to test a juvenile for HIV following a crime. 
Leo, a longtime social worker who has worked with clients living with HIV, is blunt about the three bills: 'They would criminalize HIV. HIV isn’t a crime. It’s a public health problem.' 
Texas is among five states that have no law criminalizing HIV, but there have been cases prosecuted in Texas based on exposure or transmission. 
'There’s already legislation making it a crime to intentionally spread HIV,” Leo said of the Ryan White Act requirements. 'But these aren’t those bills. These new bills use HIV status as a crime, against people who are suspects in a crime but have yet to be proven guilty. They’re allowing prosecutors to use private medical records, as mandated under HIPPA, as a weapon.'”

The Sero Project, a network of people with HIV and allies fighting for freedom from stigma and injustice, will provide welcome guidance to Texas advocates as well as non-Texans who wish to help us oppose this bill. Please help to ensure that Texas state leaders know that #HIVisNOTaCrime and that people living with #HIV are #NotaDeadlyWeapon!!! 

Photo credit: Global Health Students' Blogs

Send an email or letter by April 3rd to #SaveRyanWhitePartD

As I have shared in previous posts such as this one, the President’s fiscal year 2016 budget (which begins October 1, 2015) for the second year in a row has proposed to eliminate Ryan White Part D, consolidating it with Ryan White C. Ryan White Part D funds care and services for women, infants, children, and youth, (teens, young adults) while Ryan White Part C funds services for early intervention and capacity development. 

Ryan White Part D, which is administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) comprises only a small part of the overall Ryan White funding, but it is still important, and this proposal represents more than just a potential loss of dollars.  It sets a disturbing precedent of disregard and dismissal of marginalized subgroups such as women and teens/young adults, within the HIV community.

Ryan White Part D has been in existence since 1988. Many of its programs, including direct funding (in the past, not currently) of maternal/pediatric HIV research, are responsible for many of the gains in the field of HIV we now boast about today, such as reducing perinatal transmission of HIV by more than 90%, getting and retaining HIV+ women in care at rates more than double the national average, and stabilizing at risk women, youth and families by providing critical support services to aid them in their time of need. 

Ryan White is a "payer of last resort" which means that to qualify for it you have to meet certain income requirements and also need to be uninsured or underinsured. So Part D is serving individuals who are already experiencing economic hardship. Add to that the fact that youth and women in general - HIV positive ones in particular - are likely to face challenges such as unemployment, co-morbidities, virologic failure, abuse, substance use, and housing instability...and you can see that we are dealing with a population that is extremely vulnerable.

Today, I'm asking you to stand with us. Many of us are advocating for Ryan White Part D - JOIN us. There are many ways you can help, but the most pressing one is to help speak up for Part D with our legislators. 
Photo credit: Recruit Me

The addresses and more information is provided below. If you want to remain anonymous, use a pseudonym or initials or use the name "Save Ryan White Part D Initiative."  Feel free to modify or add on to the letter if you wish, or send your own. But please do something.

Additionally, if you are comfortable doing so, please try to advocate for Ryan White Part D on social media using the hashtag #SaveRyanWhitePartD. We need to blanket social media over the next few months with messages supporting the continuation of this vital program. 

To send a written or emailed testimony about Part D, follow the following instructions:

-If sending a letter by postal mail, send it to:

Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate 
Washington, DC 20510

-If sending an email, the subject title MUST state: FY 16 LHHS OWT. The email address is:


-Correspondence must be no more than 4 pages (8 1/2 x 11 paper). Single spaced, single sided, and a 1 inch margin in Word of WordPerfect (no .PDFs)

-No cover letter

-At the top of the page state your name (or organization; if you don't want state your name, you can state Save Ryan White Part D Initiative where the name should be along with your initials). At the top also state the Department Agency it is about (Ryan White Part D, Health Resources and Services Administration, the HIV/AIDS Bureau). 

-Sign the letter.

-Contact information must be provided: Name, physical address, and telephone. If you do NOT wish to provide your personal contact info, you can use the name, address, and phone number of the Ryan White Part D Initiative, which is below:

Name: Save Ryan White Part D Initiative
Address: in c/o The HIV Resource Group; 500 Lovett Blvd, Suite 100; Houston, TX 77006

Below is the sample letter or email that can be used to advocate for Part D:

Save Ryan White Part D Initiative
FY 16 Outside Witness Testimony Re: Ryan White Part D (HIV/AIDS Bureau, HRSA)

March 24, 2015

Dear Senate LHHS Subcommittee:

I am writing to express my concern about the proposed elimination of Ryan White Part D and consolidation of the programs in to Ryan White Part C in the FY 2016 budget proposal. Respectfully, I am asking you to maintain Ryan White Part D as a designated category in the Ryan White funding - not consolidating it with Part C, as has been proposed.

As a unique part of the legislature, Ryan White Part D’s culturally sensitive, family-centered primary medical care and support services aim to increase access and help women, infants, children, and youth with HIV achieve optimal HIV medical outcomes. These critical services, which comprise under 6% of Ryan White funding, include coordinated care, sexual and reproductive health, specialized case management, mental health services, child care, transportation, outreach, peer-based programming, and more. As women and youth account for an alarming amount of HIV diagnoses, Part D’s targeted funding for both groups is vital.

As the Affordable Care Act brings new changes to American health care, retention in care during this transition period is essential. Many women served by Ryan White Part D have one or more minor children in their care. Over ¾ of Part D clients are racial minorities. Consolidating Part C and D in this manner (via budget appropriations) poses the risk of leaving vulnerable families and youth without the very services that have helped to reduce perinatal HIV transmission of HIV/AIDS by over 90% and retain HIV+ women in care at a rate nearly double the national average.

Moreover, the Ryan White legislation specifically designates Part C funding, focused on early intervention services and capacity development, separately from Part D. Although in recent years many Ryan White grantees have been dually funded by both parts, the focus of these programs are entirely different. The potential loss of Part D’s established network of vetted, culturally competent providers - many of whom are community based sub-grantees with years of experience serving this population – could have disastrous consequences for individuals, families, and communities. The risk of people falling out of care as a result of these changes is real, which could lead not only to negative health outcomes, but also to increased risk of more transmissions due to lack of viral suppression.

Ryan White Part D has a proven track record and has been instrumental into getting and keeping marginalized individuals living with HIV in care. I respectfully request that you 1) vote to reject the proposal to consolidate Ryan White Part C and Part D and 2) retain Ryan White Part D as a distinct targeted category with adequate funding to serve these vulnerable populations. Our families that are living with HIV deserve nothing less. Thank you for your consideration.


Name: Save Ryan White Part D Initiative
Address: In c/o The HIV Resource Group; 500 Lovett Blvd, Ste 100; Houston, TX 77006
Phone: (713) 526-1016

Photo credit: The Guardian

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Public Comment to the Houston Ryan White Planning Council on March 12, 2015

Public Comment to the Houston Ryan White Planning Council on March 12, 2015

Hi. My name is Morénike, and I know many but not all of you; it's good to be here. Like you, I am part of the Houston Ryan White Planning Council, as I am an external member of the Comprehensive HIV Planning Committee. I am also involved in other forms of advocacy, and I am a member of a local HIV affected family. I am here today to express my grave concern and to solicit your assistance.  

As many of you are aware, the presidents budget for the second year in a row has proposed to eliminate Ryan White Part D, consolidating it with Ryan White C. As most of you probably know, Ryan White Part D funds care and services for women, infants, children, teens, young adults, and caregivers while Ryan White Part C funds services for early capacity building and only intervention. While we are fortunate in the Houston EMA to have Ryan White Parts A, B, C, and D as well as MAI and state services funding, Ryan White Part D, which is administered by the Resource Group, comprises only a small part of the overall Ryan White funding in our area.  However, this proposal represents more than just a potential loss of dollars.  It sets a disturbing precedent of disregard and dismissal of marginalized subgroups within the HIV community.

Ryan White Part D has been existence since 1987. Many of its programs, including direct funding (in the past) of maternal/pediatric HIV research, are responsible for many of the gains in the field of HIV we now boast about today, such as reducing perinatal transmission of HIV by more than 90%, getting and retaining HIV+ women in care at rates more than double the national average, and stabilizing at risk women youth and families by providing critical support services to aid them in their time of need. We all know that Ryan White is a payer of last resort; so we already know that Part D is serving individuals who are experiencing economic hardship. Add to that the fact that youth and women in general - HIV positive ones in particular - are likely to face challenges such as unemployment, co-morbidities, virologic failure, abuse, substance use, and housing instability...and you can see that we are dealing with a population that is extremely vulnerable. 

I would like you to consider the following points:

-Part D occupies less than 6% of the Ryan White budget; it is not a burden on the overall costs of Ryan White. So why is it being the one slated for elimination?

-HRSA has reduced and subsequently flat funded Ryan White Part D for several years in a row, despite more clients being served by the program. 

-On a national level, Ryan White Part D alone serves more than a third of ALL HIV+ women receiving Ryan White services - despite being woefully underfunded. 

-The Ryan White program, in part because of Part D, retains significantly more women in care than the national average. 

-Part D has been a trailblazer - not only in Ryan White healthcare, but in healthcare overall.  Its longtime use and promotion of patient and family-centered care with wraparound services was the predecessor for what we now know as the medical home model and similar forms of coordinated care which are widely accepted today as best practices.

-One justification for eliminating Part D that has been cited is to reduce administrative burdens for dually funded grantees. But you DO NOT dismantle a program because of administrative concerns; you find other solutions. Additionally, part of the reason there are currently so many grantees that are funded by both Part C and Part D was due to HRSA's choice a few years ago to re-compete the entire Ryan White Part D program. It is not Part D that should be blamed for the organizations HAB chose to select for funding. 

-While it is important to have quality services for women and youth across all parts of Ryan White, there are unique factors in the legislation that allow Part D more flexibility in its rendering of services than other parts of Ryan White. Until similar or identical provisions can be made in other parts, Part D should remain distinct. It is not a "consolidation" of programs when you are simply taking all of the money from Part D and pouring it into another part that bears no similarity. 

-Part D is the only part in the Ryan White program mandated to provide clients with information and access to HIV clinical trials. While care and prevention are all important and necessary for people living with HIV to have better health and life outcomes, care and prevention are not going to lead us to a cure. Only research can do that. While Part D no longer funds actual research itself as it did in the past, it does ensure that people living with HIV are aware of, and presumably meaningfully engaged in, the very research that impacts their lives. HIV+ people should have the opportunity to be front and center in ALL areas that affect their lives, including HIV clinical trials research. By devoting funds to ensuring that clients know about current research, Ryan White Part D make that happen.

-Ryan White Part D recognizes that HIV is not something that just happens to one person. When you were living with HIV, all of your loved ones are affected by HIV as well due to their concern for and relationship with you. Of course the primary focus is on the HIV+ individual, as it should be. However, strengthening the overall household helps the person living with HIV and provides them with a stronger foundation for stability, which helps facilitate viral suppression and retention in care. 

-Ryan White Part D differs from other parts of Ryan White in its long time reliance upon community-based providers (not large medical clinics) as grantees and subgrantees. These programs have decades of experience providing care that is gender-specific and culturally sensitive to the Part D population and have established trusted, positive relationships with their communities as well as a demonstrated track record of success. Many of these providers are small nonprofits that look like the populations they serve as they often employ people from affected and underserved populations, including persons living with HIV. The potential loss of such important entities across the nation cannot be minimized.

-Some of the most respected voices in the HIV community and in other communities oppose this proposal, including AIDS United, the Ryan White Working Group, the Ryan White Medical Providers Association, HIV Prevention Justice Alliance, members of the President's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, the American Association of HIV Medicine, the American Association on Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, the American Public Health Association, Human Rights Campaign, The AIDS Institute, Positive Women's Network-USA, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the AIDS Alliance, Campaign to End AIDS, ADAP Advocacy Association, Communities Advocating for Emergency AIDS Relief Coalition, the People Living with HIV Caucus, and countless others.

-It is too early into the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to make drastic changes such as this. As we have all seen in recent years, the Ryan White program has an important role to play in supporting the aims of the Affordable Care Act and assisting people as they acquire health plans and become acclimated to the new healthcare paradigm. We need more time to assess gaps and areas of improvement and to collect hard data. In the meantime, we should strive to preserve the status quo, not regress during this period of uncertainty. 

-Changes such as this should NOT be done during budget appropriations; they should be done over time with broad, meaningful community input and during a transparent, collaborative reauthorization process. The way this proposal is being done is not an ethical way to make such a change. As it is critical that women and family-centered services are prioritized across the full Ryan White program, there may come a time in the future when Part D may indeed need to be absorbed into other parts of the Ryan White program - but that would only occur once changes are made to those programs to ensure that the concerns I've raised (and others) are adequately addressed, and the community would need to be actively involved throughout all steps of the process. 

-When this exact same proposal was made last year, in fiscal year 2015, Congress vehemently rejected it and opted to keep Part D separate. This only became official in recent months. Now, just when we have come up for air and breathed a sigh of relief about saving Part D, we are again faced with this situation. While this administration has shown a sincere commitment to domestic HIV programs in a number of ways; persisting year after year with this proposal (essentially going after "low hanging fruit") undermines this. Why is the ONLY targeted Ryan White program for women and children the ones that are at risk? What type of message does that send? Not a good one.

-As a Part D consumer, I can personally attest to the value of the Ryan White Part D program. Locally, it supports quality case management and other services for ALL pediatric HIV patients at our chosen provider, even those with private or other insurance, through funds that employ dedicated, multilingual, culturally diverse staff. It supports peer based programming for HIV+ and affected youth, women, and families that my family has personally benefitted from, including individual and group counseling and the existence of a very active community advisory board that is a pluripotent services and research CAB.  It provides consumer training and education on health literacy, self-advocacy, and more. It grooms leaders - our local Part D program has produced several advocates that have made a noticeable difference in their communities: advocating on Capitol Hill; leading local and state constituency groups; coordinating HIV ministries; chairing local and national HIV groups; even numerous committee and leadership roles in this very Planning Council.

-Finally, this proposal is concerning because it seems to imply that certain groups' needs don't need to be targeted effectively. Today it's Part D; what will it be tomorrow? Yes, there are less babies and children born positive in the US than in the past, which is a welcome change from the early years of the HIV era - but HIV+ children are not the only group Part D serves. It is frightening to consider who will be next to be cut. You may not be a woman or a youth living with or affected by HIV, and your family might not be impacted. But does that mean that you shouldn't worry. You should. 

Today, I'm asking you to stand with us. Many of us are advocating for Ryan White Part D - JOIN us. There are many ways you can help. One way is to sign the letter you have before you that I've written. Please sign your name in the space provided and then print your name below. Underneath your name please also print your zip code, so that we can send it to the appropriate person based upon your district. If you want to remain anonymous, use initials. Feels free to add on to the letter if you wish, using the space st the bottom or the back of the letter. But please do something. 

Another way that you can help us is to come out tomorrow night to a meeting that we are having at the Montrose Center to discuss Ryan White Part D and ways to advocate. You should have been provided with flyers; if not, please ask the Office of Support for one. ANYONE is welcome, and refreshments will be served. 

Lastly, there will be an opportunity next Tuesday to advocate for Ryan White Part D using social media. We are hosting an all day social media advocacy event and will be providing a social media toolkit with sample tweets and messages for you to use. There is an open event invite on Facebook and the link has also been tweeted and posted on tumblr as well. You can find it online using the hashtag #SaveRyanWhitePartD. You can also visit my website at http://SaveRyanWhitePartD.org for information. We need to blanket social media on Tuesday with messages supporting the continuation of this vital program. 

I know that the Council cannot take an official position on Part D...but each and every one of you can, as private citizens. I'm hoping that you will; I hope that I, and my family, can count on you. In closing, I will leave you with the words of Pastor Martin Niemiller: 

"First they came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me."

Thank you. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

On #NWGHAAD, Nothing About Us Without Us

Today is the 10th anniversary of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (#NWGHAAD). A lot of progress has been made for women and girls through the years since the beginning of the HIV era. Perinatal transmission has decreased significantly across the globe, especially in places like the United States. Advances in research and treatment have changed HIV from what was once thought of as a deadly disease to a manageable chronic illnessResearch has also shown that individuals living with HIV who have an undetectable viral load have a virtually zero chance of transmitting HIV to another person

However, despite progress, there still very much to be done. And there are still many ways in which women and girls living with or at risk for HIV lag behind males. The rate of new diagnoses in women is high. Women often progress to viral failure faster than men. Women are often diagnosed with HIV at a later stage then men. Women do not achieve viral suppression at the same rights as men. 

And there's more. There is unfortunately still a huge societal stigma attached to HIV. Women with HIV are more likely to live in poverty than women without an HIV diagnosis. Three out of four women living with HIV are survivors of domestic/intimate partner violence or have experienced some form of violence in their lives – and for trans women, the rate is even higher. Women living with HIV experience high levels of mental health diagnoses, including trauma, depression, and anxiety. Women are not adequately represented in important HIV clinical trials research, including cure studies. And many women are denied their basic reproductive health rights and bodily autonomy not just by partners, but also by institutions.

We know a lot of structural inequalities that exist in society influence not only the rate that women contract HIV, but also continue to negatively affect their lives after diagnosis. In addition, as women are often the caregivers of partners, children, and or others, the potential generational impact caused by these issues WLHIV face is problematic at a broader level. 

There are several ways to improve things for our positive sisters across the globe. Below are just a few:

Meaningful engagement:  Women living with HIV deserve to have their voices heard. They should not only be included "at the table," but they should be provided meaningful leadership roles in areas that greatly affect their lives at ALL stages in the process. NOT at the end, not as a token or afterthought, but from the beginning and all the way throughout. 

Research and Care: Women living with HIV need to be integrated in all aspects of HIV research and should be recruited, enrolled, and retained at levels similar to men. Women living with HIV deserve treatment and research that addresses unanswered questions about their unique health needs - they are more than receptors for babies and genital secretions.  Women living with HIV also need quality care designed for women that is responsive and trauma informed. They also need comprehensive, multifaceted, culturally responsive, family centered care. They deserve for their their care, and their services, to be prioritized above administrative and funding issues.

Society: Women living with HIV need opportunities for economic growth to achieve self-sufficiency. Women living with HIV need a support system that includes healthy, respectful, reciprocal romantic, platonic, and/or professional relationships. Women living with HIV deserve to be viewed and addressed in a respectful manner, to live free of HIV stigma and unfair policies and/or judgment.

As a new woman contracts HIV every 9 half minutes, it is definitely important to raise awareness about HIV.  But raising awareness is not enough. We need to do more - much, much more.  Not just on NWGHAAD, but every day. 

Will you help? 

(Images are of Cicely Bolden and Elisha Henson, two young HIV+ mothers from Texas who lost their lives to violence in recent years.)

Friday, March 6, 2015

URGENT! Oppose Texas #HIV criminalization #SB779

The state of Texas is on the verge of taking a gigantic leap backward. There is a state bill, Senate Bill 779, that proposes to amend the state Health and Safety Code to allow for HIV test results (which are currently confidential) to be subpoenaed during grand jury proceedings - and for a defendant's medical records to be accessed without their consent to establish guilt/innocence and also potentially to be used to determine sentencing. Essentially, this bill proposes to criminalize having HIV.

Fortunately, state advocacy organizations and HIV activists are already hard at work. Leaders from the Texas HIV/AIDS Coalition will be traveling to the state capitol in Austin on Monday, March 9th to attend a State Affairs Committee hearing for Senate Bill 779 (#SB779) and voice their opposition.  We are grateful - AND fortunate - to have people at the ready who are going to take action against this proposed infringement of justice But more action is needed. 

We need MORE people to come to the hearing on Monday morning to express their objection to this bill if possible. The hearing will occur at 9 am in Senate Chamber 2E.8. The information for the hearing can be found HERE. If your schedule permits, please consider attending! 

However, if you cannot physically attend the hearing, there are other ways that you can help. We ALL need to contact the members of the State Affairs Committee and let them know that this bill is problematic and does not need to be implemented. Please read below for a few different ways you can help!

The Texas HIV/AIDS Coalition has already created and distributed a concise, helpful script of talking points for people to use to send emails and/or place calls to the Committee members. This script is available below and the contact information for the Committee members is provided as well (name, phone number, email address, and Twitter handle). 

We need to generate a lot of attention before Monday morning's hearing. 

Can we count on you to help send an email and/or place a call? This affects us all, whether HIV+ or HIV-; whether you live in Texas or whether you live in a different state or country. This bill sets a dangerous precedent and also sets the stage for possible HIV specific bills and/or criminalization laws for Texas in the future.

Finally, in addition to emailing or calling, we have created some sample tweets that we hope you will consider using...we want to harness the power of social media to register our outrage and our opposition. Feel free to create your own tweets too, but these are free for anyone who wishes to use them! They are available below. You can also save the following images and tweet them out as well. If creating your own tweets and posts, PLEASE be certain to use key hashtags in your tweets, especially  #TXHIV and #SB779, but also consider #TXlege, and/or #HIVisnotacrime in your tweets if you have enough character space.  

And don't stop at Twitter; cover Facebook, Instagram, tumblr, blogs, message boards, email list serves, etc with this message too.  #HIVisNOTacrime, and we need to STOP #SB779 NOW. Please help us!

State Affairs Committee Members' Contact Info:

Chair – Joan Huffman

Vice Chair – Rodney Ellis

Brian Birdwell

Brandon Creighton

Craig Estes

Troy Fraser

Jane Nelson

Charles Schwertner

Judith Zaffirini

Sample Script for Emails and Calls:

Hello, my name is ______________________________ and I am contacting your office to express my opposition to Senate Bill 779, amending the Health and Safety Code, currently being considered by the Senate State Affairs Committee on Monday, March 9, 2015 at 9am. I am opposed to this bill for the following reasons:

1. The proposed bill is an invasion of privacy because HIV test results are private medical records and should not be disclosed for the purpose of criminal prosecution;

2. People with HIV should not be accorded less privacy rights than someone with any other communicable disease; 

3. The proposed bill will discourage HIV testing and treatment by instilling fear that HIV test results could be subpoenaed and used in criminal prosecutions;

4. The proposed bill perpetuates stigma and discrimination by treating people living with HIV differently; and 

5. HIV is not a crime; it is a public health concern and requires public health solutions and not criminal penalties.  

For the reasons stated above, I urge you to vote NO on SB 779.  

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sample Tweets 

Ppl living w/#HIV deserve the same privacy as anyone else; vote NO on #SB779! #texlege #TXHIV #HIVisnotacrime

#SB779 violates the privacy & dignity of ppl w/#HIV! #TXHIV #texlege #HIVisnotacrime

#HIV does NOT = less than! #SB779 says otherwise. #TXHIV #texlege #HIVisnotacrime

#SB779 is a HUGE step BACKWARDS for #TX; oppose it! #texlege #TXHIV #HIV #HIVisnotacrime

#SB779 poses a #publichealth problem not just for ppl w/#HIV, but 4 ALL of #TX.  #texlege #TXHIV #HIVisnotacrime

#HIVisnotacrime, but #SB779 treats it as such. Oppose this unfair bill! #texlege #TXHIV #HIV

#TX does NOT need #SB779 to create more #HIV stigma & fear; vote NO! #texlege #TXHIV #HIVisnotacrime 

#HIPAA exists 4 a reason; #SB779 violates privacy & should not pass in #texlege #TXHIV #HIVisnotacrime #HIV

Texans w/#HIV are NOT 2nd class citizens; oppose #SB779 now! #texlege #TXHIV #HIVisnotacrime

#Publichealth concerns need public health solutions, NOT criminal penalties! #SB779 #texlege #TXHIV #HIVisnotacrime #HIV

#HIV should be treated the same way we treat other communicable diseases; say NO to #SB779. #texlege #TXHIV #HIVisnotacrime

If #SB779 passes, we will lose years of progress made w/#HIV testing & treatment. #texlege #TXHIV #HIVisnotacrime

#SB779 invades privacy & criminalizes #HIV. #texlege #TXHIV #HIVisnotacrime

#HIV+ Texans have a right to the same privacy as Texans w/out HIV. #texlege #TXHIV #HIVisnotacrime

#Creating fear & shame will NOT help us #Get2Zero in #TX. OPPOSE #SB779! #texlege #TXHIV #HIVisnotacrime

#HIV tests are private & only the person tested should reveal their test results; NO to #SB779. #texlege #TXHIV #HIVisnotacrime

Supplemental Images

Photo credit:actupny,com 

Photo credit:amplifyyourvoice.org

Photo credit: thestigmaproject.org

Photo credit: HIVisnotacrime.com; marksking.com

Photo credit: quipsnquills,com

Photo credit:seroproject.com

Photo credit:preventionjustice.org

Photo credit:huffingtonpost.com

Photo credit:marksking.com

Photo credit:skintop.wordpress.com

Photo credit:ugandaempowers.org

Photo credit: Legacy Community Health; Texas HIV/AIDS Coalition