Cecilia Dennis is an advocate for modernization/repeal of HIV criminalization laws, bodily autonomy and social determinants of equity, including equal access to health insurance and models of care that provide comprehensive health care to people living with HIV. She advances resources, with the help of the 2023 SERO AMP grant. Consciously incorporating MIPA into coordination and planning for 2023 Love Y’ah Self retreat. Empowering women to come, relax, reset, rejuvenate and learn in Knoxville, TN. She believes that community development starts in safe spaces where intersectional analysis and matters that affect our communities are shared and leadership can be built and solutions are discussed.
Cecilia takes pride in being Certified NMAC leadership and development trainer, she chairs Women of Color Rise Up!, a Special Interest Group. She also co-hosts the PWN Sister Circle, a bi-weekly support group for women living with HIV. Feeling these are important opportunities to reduce isolation and internalized stigma, while sharing information, resources and knowledge. Being an Executive Committee Member of National HIV/AIDS Aging Advocacy Network (NHAAN) Cecilia advocates for social and economic justice, community leadership and development. Especially in relation to long term survivors, and individuals aging with HIV, with emphasis on stigma and quality of life. With Positive Women’s Network – USA (PWN), a national organization with a body of over 3000 women living with HIV, she serves as Virginia State Lead and makes herself available and accessible to community members living with HIV who want to get involved in advocacy. Cecilia works to inform future community-engaged research and improve health and quality of life through membership with Survivors of HIV Advocating for Research Engagement (SHARE). A patient stakeholder research advisory group organized to identify issues which matter to long-term HIV survivors. While working as a Steering and Workgroup Committee member with the Reunion Project (TRP), a national alliance of long-term survivors of HIV, Cecilia collaborates with local and national HIV advocates, providers and researchers to convene and connect individuals and communities, sharing experiences of survival and loss while honoring the past, and developing successful strategies for living while supporting one another.