The Closing of NAPWA
18/02/2013 - GNP+NA notes with sadness and disappointment the
dissolution of the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA).
NAPWA was founded 30 years ago, shortly after the meeting where the seminal "Denver Principles" self-empowerment manifesto was
written and adopted by people living with AIDS. Since then, NAPWA played an important role in fostering HIV positive leadership
and advocating on behalf of people living with HIV/AIDS.
While we salute the historical role of NAPWA and valuable work done by those who were part of NAPWA over the years, we also know that
the organization often struggled to fulfill its mission to be an effective national voice of and for people living with HIV/AIDS.
As the North American affiliate of the Global Network of People living with HIV/AIDS, GNP+NA believes that the closing of NAPWA must
be the impetus for a far-ranging participatory discussion that re-imagines and strengthens PLWHA organizing and leadership in the
One of the first steps must be a full, honest and transparent explanation of the circumstances and actions leading to NAPWA's closure.
Like others in the AIDS community, we have recently been made aware of troubling issues that appear to have led to the bankruptcy.
Any tax-exempt group that has raised and spent tens of millions in contributions, grants and government funds over the years
owes such accountability to the community they purport to represent.
There are now more people than ever living with HIV/AIDS in the US and around the world. While transmission rates have stabilized or
even fallen in some communities, other communities are ravaged by an epidemic that continues to grow and rage unchecked.
The need for the meaningful involvement of people living with HIV/AIDS, particularly those from the most vulnerable communities, has
never been more critical. Yet the commitment to empowering people with HIV, by those in government, NGOs and civil society, seems to
exist more in rhetoric than in reality.
Despite that lack of support, there are countless vibrant and effective HIV positive leaders and activists working at every level
of this epidemic from the grassroots to national and global organizations. There are thousands more who are capable of leadership,
but who aren't provided the encouragement, opportunity and support to find their voices.
GNP+NA intends to work with colleagues and committed allies to turn a sad milestone-the closure of one of the very first organizations
representing people with HIV-into an essential community dialogue involving the full, rich and exciting diversity of all communities
of people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States.
Together we can and must build a stronger, more inclusive, representative, and accountable movement by and for people living with
HIV. Because like those early pioneers who met in a hotel room in Denver and wrote a radical manifesto that has been heard around
the world, we are still "Fighting for our Lives" and we are fighting for the lives of each other.
Source: The Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+)
The Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+) is the global network for and by people living with HIV.
GNP+ advocates to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV. Driven by the needs of people living with HIV worldwide, GNP+
supports people living with HIV through their organisations and networks. GNP+ works to ensure equitable access to health and social
services, by focusing on social justice, rights and more meaningful involvement of people living with HIV in programme and policy
development - the GIPA principle. www.gnpplus.net
More information please contact
GNP+ Martin Stolk, Communications officer,
by email email@example.com )
or phone +31-20-423 4114
"Reproduced with permission - Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+)"
Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+)
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