Over 100 HIV advocates from across Georgia gathered under the Gold Dome last Thursday to educate state lawmakers about HIV at AIDSWatch in Georgia 2017.
“The goal of AIDSWatch in Georgia is to educate state elected officials about issues important to people living with and communities most affected by HIV.” says event organizer Emily Brown. “It is so powerful for legislators to hear the phrase, ‘I live in your district and I’m a person living with HIV.”
At a brief breakfast training at Coverdell Legislative
Office Building, attendees were provided with talking points about Georgia’s HIV epidemic, given issue-specific conversation starters, updated on HIV-related policy issues and given tips on how to communicate with elected officials. The group then traveled in shifts to the Capitol, met with other HIV advocates under the rotunda, then headed off to meet with their senators and representatives. On the agenda this year were HIV decriminalization, syringe exchange access, healthcare, sex education, budgetary concerns and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) access.
Many attendees also joined Georgia Equality and Georgia AIDS Coalition advocates visiting from Savannah for a meet-and-greet and in-depth issues training the preceding night at the Phillip Rush Center.
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