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Housing Works Community Healthcare teamed up with the women’s division of iOne Digital to present two fantastic nights of conversation, candor and education to the women of New York City.

The presentations, WOC x WOC: Our Voices, Our Health, Ourselves (Conversations for Women of Color by Women of Color) addressed HIV among women of color and what we need to know about PrEP, PEP,  HIV/ STD prevention and testing.

Special attention was also given to general conversations about consent, self love, confidence and self-advocacy and how these factors affect our sexual health.

The first night featured Jacque Reid as host and included Dr. Oni Blackstock, Jamilah Lemieux, Valerie Reyes-Jiminez, and Brande Victorian as panelists. The second evening was moderated by Bevy Smith featuring panelists Angela Yee, Keyaira Kelly, Maria Davis, Charreah K. Jackson, and Dr. Vaty

Each conversation invited the panelists to interact with the audience in real-time so they could exchange stories and information.

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The purpose of the events were to highlight the reasons why Black women are disproportionately affected by AIDS/HIV and what can be done to close the gap and slow the rate of new infections. Panelists explained why none of us should be ashamed when it comes to asking our sex partners their status. The experts also told the crowd about how HIV is contracted and what can be done to keep yourself safe. The attendees were taken through a lesson on PrEP, a pill when taken once a day as directed prevents a person from becoming HIV positive if exposed to the virus, and PEP, which can prevent someone from catching the virus if taken within 72 hours after exposure to the virus. The medical expert also gave an overview of U = U, meaning with HIV medication someone with the virus can lower the amount of HIV in their body (viral load) to the point it is undetectable. Undetectable = Untransmittable. Often the latest medical advancements in AIDS/HIV research isn’t dispersed among folks in Black communities because the entire conversation on sex and STDs, unfortunately, remains taboo among people of color. Hopefully, nights full of transparency such as the ones that took place July 24th and August 5th which change that.

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You can watch the Livestream of the panels below.

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