AIDS Foundation of Western Mass. Announces Free Conference for National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

aids_wmaSPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The AIDS Foundation of Western Massachusetts, Inc. (AFWM) is excited to announce its second annual Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Conference to be held at Baystate Health’s Whitney Avenue Conference Center in Holyoke on March 9, 2012. The conference is for everyone who cares about women and girls and HIV/AIDS. Women, girls, and others who want to learn more about prevention, treatment, and support are welcome. Participants do not need to be HIV positive or at risk for HIV to attend, and no one will ask anyone to disclose their status. The conference is free for all. This is a chance for our community to continue to learn about and come together around issues of HIV/AIDS that affect us all.

Schedule for the day (subject to change):

9:00-9:30 Check-in, Continental Breakfast

9:30-9:45 Introduction and Welcome

9:45-10:45 Safer Sex – Sandy Ortega: Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Social Work Advocate

11:00-11:45 Morning Break-out Sessions

  • Surviving and Thriving – Robin Hook
  • HIV/AIDS and Mental Health – Dr. Eunice Aviles: Doctor in Clinical Psychology and Licensed Mental Health Counselor
  • Myths and Facts about HIV/AIDS – Dr. Claudia Martorell: Infectious Disease Specialist

11:45-12:45 Lunch ‘N’ Learn – Networking, Information tables

12:45-1:45 Keynote Speaker: Marveyln Brown, Author, Humanitarian, Motivational Speaker

“HIV is not an adjective so it does not define me. I think MARVELOUS would be more appropriate. I am not living with HIV. HIV is living with me.” – Marveyln Brown

2:00-2:45 Afternoon Break-out Sessions 

  • Medication and Adherence in Women – Christine Vala, Walgreens
  • The Power of Support Groups – Tonya Miller
  • HIV/AIDS and Youth – Young Women from Next Step’s One Love Project

Registration is required, so please email or call (413) 301-0955 by March 1, 2013, so that we have an accurate count for our caterer.  Breakfast and lunch are complimentary. All attendees will receive bags with mementos and information. For more information, log on to

Funding for this activity was made possible in part by the Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. The views expressed in written materials or publications and by speakers and moderators at HHS-sponsored conferences do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Public Health and Human Services; nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

This event is also sponsored by Baystate Health, Gilead Sciences and The Rainbow Times.

[From a News Release]

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