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Thursday, June 20, 2024

The women of “Let's Talk About It” all share one thing in common — HIV. And with the help of sponsors in Florida, women in the Gainesville area will get the opportunity to break the stigma of being HIV positive.

March is Women’s History Month, and the event Breaking The Mold offers stories of strength from other women living with the disease. Breaking the Mold will take place at 6 p.m. at UF’s Ustler Hall Auditorium.

“We want to celebrate women and change people’s perspective of what it means to be a woman living with HIV,” Angela Bakidis said.

The 24-year-old UF public health graduate student and project coordinator said the peer-positive advocacy group “Let’s Talk About It,” along with Rural Women’s Health Project and ViiV Healthcare Positive Action, made the event possible.

Bakidis said the event is open to the public, and people will be able to attend and hear inspirational stories of women living with HIV or women who are affected by it.

“I know these women, and they’ve had such an impact on my life that HIV and the fight for HIV is very important to me,” she said.

Nichole Teixeira, a 21-year-old UF public relations senior and intern for Rural Women's Health Project, said she hopes people share what they’ve learned from the event.

“It's important that folks recognize that the event is meant to be a safe space for the women sharing their stories,” Teixeira said. “Being respectful of the women and their stories is crucial for this event to be successful.”

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