New North Carolina Group Hopes to Involve Individuals with HIV/AIDS in State Policy Decisions
A new advocacy group in North Carolina, which is still in its "organizational stage," is hoping to give individuals with HIV/AIDS a "voice" in state legislation and public policy by getting "infected people involved in the mainstream of agencies that advocate for people who have AIDS or are HIV-positive," the Greensboro News and Record reports. The Burlington, N.C.-based Positive Impact Network, an HIV/AIDS education organization, is developing the advocacy group, called the North Carolina Council on Positive Living, with a grant from the state's HIV/STD Prevention and Care Branch. "I see it as a platform for [people with HIV/AIDS] to have access to the agencies and the politics that design their care," Positive Impact Network Coordinator Pat Gooley said. Noting that the group "hopes to churn out leaders," Ron Jackson, an early member of the council who is HIV-positive and a health educator, said, "A lot of people are getting tired of having someone else speak for them. ... [W]e need to take control of our own destiny." Sam Parker, executive director of the HIV support group Triad Health Project, said that AIDS-related advocacy is "a much stronger message when it come from [those infected]." The News and Record reports that the council is considering the national AIDS advocacy group ACT UP as a model for activism (McLaughlin, Greensboro News and Record, 3/27).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.