September 12, 2015

Where are the women?

Written by Candace Montague

Im sitting in the HIV Prevention and Women session. The presenters are explaining what’s already available for women and prevention and what is coming down the pipeline. GREAT STUFF!! If these discoveries comes to pass we are about to hit a major breakthrough. So what’s my problem?

Where are the women?

The Center for Disease Control estimates that one in four people with HIV are women. So why does this room look like this? We started with less than 100 women in the audience (see photo). Slowly more are trickling in. I am troubled by this attendance.


What’s the point of all these battle cries in the universe ( #_____livesmatter #equalpayforequalwork #whenwomensucceedAmericasucceeds) if we don’t back up what we say? We are writing checks with our mouths that our bodies don’t cash. We should be showing up everywhere if we want to be heard and prioritized. I don’t know if it’s because of the rain or the fact that it’s Saturday or that maybe there was a similar session held like this already but this should be much be much more full.

And that doesn’t just mean showing up for conference sessions. That means being present at Ryan White Council meetings. That means supporting policy makers who are trying to change or create laws to protect us. That means participating in clinical trials. Hell it evens means going to see your doctor regularly, getting mammograms and taking prescriptions as prescribed. If our lives matter so much, there should be no question that we will show up for anything that’s about us and for us.

My message is very simple. If we wanna be taken seriously, we HAVE TO show up.