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Voting is HIV Advocacy: How to Get Involved

Friday Oct 12, 2018
Voting is HIV Advocacy: How to Get Involved
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By AIDSUnited.org

During this 115th United States Congress, HIV advocates have repeatedly stepped up to the plate and engaged in passionate, powerful actions to ensure the rights of people living with, affected by, and vulnerable to HIV are protected.

Whether it was hundreds of HIV advocates coming to Capitol Hill to tell their elected representatives about the vital importance of the Affordable Care Act in the face of efforts to dismantle it or participating in rallies and vigils in support of immigrants who are having their lives destroyed by policies banning the entry of individuals from majority Muslim nations or seeking to separate immigrant children from their parents, the HIV community has shown up and spoken their truth over the past two years.

On November 6th of this year—less than one month from now—it will be time for people living with and affected by HIV in the United States to engage in a different sort of HIV advocacy. On that day, and for all the days that lead up to it, it is incumbent on all of us to ensure not only that we personally express our will at the ballot box, but that our friends and neighbors and colleagues do also.

With this in mind, AIDS United created the Election Resource Center to provide HIV advocates with a one-stop shop for any information they might need on registering to vote, engaging their communities, and ensuring that any HIV non-profit they might work with is doing all they can to enable their clients and fellow community members to engage in the electoral process while not endangering their non-profit status.

In their efforts to create a digital space that both enables HIV advocates and HIV service organizations to effectively promote and participate voter engagement in ways that benefit the HIV community as a whole, AIDS United has divided the Election Resource Center into 3 main sections:

At their Voter Center, individuals can prepare for election day by looking at their state's voter ID laws, ensuring that they are registered to vote at the proper address, finding their polling place, and connecting with a broad library of HIV-related election reporting from the HIV/AIDS & U.S. Elections pages on The Body and Poz and from AIDS United's blog.

At their Elections Resources for Community-Based Organizations page, individuals who work for or run HIV non-profit organizations can look at information on how they can connect with voters and candidates without endangering their 501(c)(3) status, providing primers on how to run candidate forums, voter registration drives, and other election activities.

And on their Getting Engaged in Your Community page, they outline ways HIV advocates can get involved in community organizing around the election, spotlighting Positive Women Network-USA's excellent #PWNVotes Election Toolkit 2018.

With the creation of their Election Resource Center, AIDS United aims to make sure that the HIV community has the tools to be engaged with, informed on, and registered for the 2018 midterm elections.

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