The United States Conference on HIV/AIDS is a safe space for people highly impacted by HIV. Please read and follow the Anti-Harassment Policy. The gathering values diversity, equality, and justice. Attendees can be themselves in all their fabulosity. However, the world still hates us, so please be careful outside of the bubble. Out of respect and to honor Congresswoman Maxine Waters and all the Black Women (cis & trans) fighting to end the epidemic, we ask attendees to dress in their Sunday Best for the Opening Plenary on Wednesday, September 6th. Crowns are optional but encouraged. Last year staff wore Guayaberas, this year maybe crowns. Being an ally opens your world to new experiences and traditions. Learning the values, hopes, and dreams of the communities we need to reach is central to our work. As we have documented, there is not a one size fits all PrEP program. Our efforts must speak to the diversity of people our work needs to reach and do it by honoring their cultures.
The 2023 USCHA will be one of our largest gatherings. Our movement is showing up for Black Women the way they show up for us. Registration is closed because we’ve reached capacity. I apologize to folks who cannot attend. I know it’s disappointing. There is an underground market for registrations but we do not recommend buying a registration from a stranger.
USCHA asks for patience and understanding when moving thousands of people from workshops to plenaries back to workshops. Community drives the vision and trainings. USCHA thanks the amazing advisory committee:
Early on, I was politely told to stay out. The meeting was curated by Black Women and my job was to learn how to be an ally. Before you talk about what the meeting didn’t include, experience all the new things that are added this year. Let USCHA unfold and be surprised. Don’t let the haters take your joy!
While the focus is on Black Women, the online agenda lists workshops, posters, and institutes that address the variety of communities highly impacted by HIV. It is interesting that I did not get the same feedback last year when we focused on Puerto Rico. Think of the women who sit through too many HIV meetings that mostly prioritize men.
Thirty-five percent of the attendees are living with HIV. COVID is on an upswing. USCHA encourages all attendees to wear masks. Since we are not experts, the conference will follow all local health department rules. We invite participants to be fully vaccinated.
Please use social media to tell the story of Black Women and HIV. There will be many Instagramable Moments! Post or link to NMAC’s Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube pages. HIV is not over; we are still fighting to end the epidemic. The public narrative is dominated by anti-woke elected officials who want to “take America back.” We need a counter narrative that celebrates the beauty and diversity of our communities, particularly the transgender community. If we don’t fight back, they win.
For new attendees, protests are part of the USCHA experience. It is in the DNA of our movement. However, USCHA draws a clear line between protests and violence. Violence is never acceptable. If your agency is planning a demonstration, please let the organizers know in advance. The optics of a protest can be very challenging if you are shutting down the voices of Black Women.
USCHA could not happen without our sponsors, particularly to cover the cost of hundreds of scholarships. We are grateful for their support.
I look forward to seeing everyone. Please be safe, as travel is crazy right now. Download the conference app. Late breaking information will be posted there. There will not be a printed program; however, you can print out the online version.
Yours in the Struggle,