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Better together.

On Our Own Terms (OOOT) is an initiative of the Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI). OOOT is an informed network of organizations and experts who are focused on the prevention of HIV for, by and about Black cis and transgender women, as well as the care and treatment of women living with HIV.

Gianna
why now

We simply don’t have time to waste.

According to the latest available data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 60 percent of all new HIV diagnoses in the US are among Black women. While their rates of infection are finally dropping (by 25 percent), we still have the highest rates among all women. In fact, Black women still have nearly 15 times the rate as their white counterparts, and five times the rate of Latinas. Black women and women of color must finally be a priority in policy and action in the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Our work combines evidence-based practices, cross-sector collaborations and the strengthening of community assets to lift up the sexual health and well being of Black women. OOOT is highlighting our mutual abilities to deliver innovative solutions and make a lasting investment in prevention.

We’ve teamed up with legendary actress Keshia Knight Pulliam for a PSA urging you to Own Your Ish when it comes to your sexual health!

87%
of Black women living with HIV contracted HIV through heterosexual contact
51%
of HIV diagnoses were among African American Transgender women in 2014.
KESHIA video

Resources & Tools

OOOT Video PHAB cast episode 1
PhabCast Episode 1 Teaser 3
PhabCast Episode 1 Teaser 2

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Hey sis, it’s time to change the narrative. For too long, we’ve been told we have to be strong all the time. But guess what? It’s okay to be sensitive and have feelings. It’s okay to cry, to feel, and to let your guard down. Our strength is in our vulnerability, and our power is in our truth. Embrace every emotion Gm because they make you the incredible woman you are. #FeelYourFeelings #BlackWomenMatter #EmotionalWellness ...

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The playlist we need this morning 😂😂😂 but seriously, It’s Saturday ! Let’s get moving!

We’ve made it through another week and now it’s time to sweat out all that stress and get our bodies feeling right. Hit the gym, take a dance class, or just go for a walk but let’s make today about self-love and wellness. It’s not just about looking good but feeling good too.

🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾@iamtati_analise

Tag your workout buddy and let’s do this together! #BlackGirlMagic #SelfCare #HealthJourney #FeelGood 💪🏾🏋🏾‍♀️🏃🏾‍♀️
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We will take this win but the fight continues for stricter gun control laws!!

The Supreme Court has made a crucial decision to uphold the 1994 2nd Amendment ban on domestic violence abusers possessing guns in an 8-1 decision. 

Firearms are the most common weapon used in domestic homicides. Women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner with a gun than by all other means combined. Black women are twice as likely to be fatally shot by an intimate partner, compared to white women.

Read more about intimate partner, violence, and guns. Link in bio.

 #DomesticViolenceAwareness #ProtectSurvivors #JusticeForAll
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🖤 The Doll that Changed History!

Kitty Black Perkins was the phenomenal designer behind the first Black Barbie! Her groundbreaking work, along with Beulah Mitchell, Mattel’s first Black employee, has paved the way for generations of Black girls to see their beauty and potential reflected in these iconic dolls.

Their legacy is so powerful that Beulah's niece was inspired to create the "Black Barbie" documentary on Netflix. This must-watch film dives deep into the history, impact, and cultural significance of Black Barbie dolls, showing how they've shaped identity and representation for Black girls everywhere.

The documentary also features insights from public figures like actress Gabourey Sidibe, Shonda Rhimes, California representative Maxine Waters, and ballerina Misty Copeland, highlighting the evolution and significance of this nearly 45-year-old doll.

#BlackBarbie #KittyBlackPerkins #RepresentationMatters #BlackGirlMagic #Trailblazer #Netflix #Documentary #BeulahMitchell
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We love to see it!

Teaching our young girls to love their hair is essential. Our hair is more than just strands; it’s a part of our identity. When we instill pride and confidence in them to embrace their natural curls, kinks, and coils, we empower them to love themselves fully.

Thank you @authorzendawalker for your commitment to making sure our young girls know their “hair”itage with the book Zara’s Wash Day.

👑 #LoveYourCrown #NaturalHairMagic #BlackGirlJoy #BWHI #HairLove
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As we honor and celebrate this moment in history, let’s also commit to the ongoing fight for equity and justice in all aspects of life, including our health. At the Black Women’s Health Imperative, freedom looks like liberating Black women and girls from health disparities to ensure everyone has the opportunity to live healthy, thriving lives.

Join us as we continue to push forward, inspired by the resilience and courage that Juneteenth represents.

How are you commemorating this day of freedom and reflection? Let’s use our voices to celebrate progress and inspire change, ensuring that freedom reaches every corner of our community. 🌍❤️

#Juneteenth #FreedomDay #BWHI #OpalLee #HealthEquity #blackwomenshealth
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Great news for New York!

Medicaid is expanding to include Doula services and paid time off! This is a significant step towards better maternal health care for Black women and all women in New York. Doula support can make a huge difference in birth outcomes, and paid time off allows new mothers the necessary time to heal and bond with their babies.

"Taking on the infant and maternal mortality crisis is personal for me, Being pregnant should not be a death sentence." - NY Governor Kathy Hochul

#MaternalHealth #DoulaServices #BlackMaternalHealth #HealthcareForAll #NYMedicaid #BWHI
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📢They are calling it the “relaxer reckoning”. News broke last year with over 7000 cases being filed in lawsuits from Black women claiming their hair relaxers gave them cancer. We all talked about it and then the conversation seemed to come to an abrupt halt. But last week’s article by the brilliant @linda_villarosa for @nymag article has the conversation flowing once again.

“A robust body of scientific evidence has now shown that straighteners and other hair products marketed to Black girls and women have been linked to endocrine-disrupting substances associated with the early onset of menstruation and many of the reproductive-health issues that follow, from uterine fibroids, preterm birth and infertility to breast, ovarian and uterine cancer. Many of these hormone-health-related problems are more common in Black women than in other women, including an aggressive form of breast cancer that contributes to a death rate from the disease that is 28 percent higher than the rate for white women.”

Where do we go from here? Reuters reports, “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration plans to propose next April a rule that would ban formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing chemicals from hair-straightening products.”

Many feel that this won’t be good enough. Let us know how you feel about all of this in the comments.
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📝✨ Did you know you have the right to see the notes your doctor makes during your visits? Thanks to HIPAA, you can request access to your medical records, including doctors' notes that might not appear in your online portal.

🔍 As our President, Linda Goler Blount emphasizes, reviewing these notes can be crucial for your health management. Here are some questions to consider when you read your notes:

Does this note accurately reflect my visit?
Are my medications, symptoms, and health problems listed correctly?
Should I share this note with another healthcare provider or family member?
Are there concerns or terms I need clarification on?
Did I forget to mention important symptoms or family history?
Are there any errors that I need to address with my doctor?
👀 Staying informed and proactive about your health records can empower you to take charge of your health care journey. For more insights and help with understanding your medical notes, visit OpenNotes.org.

💬 Have you ever checked your medical notes? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments!

Thank you to Atlanta Tech Week and the sponsors Zane Venture Fund, Portal Innovations and, Biolocity for such an engaging panel.
@zaneventurefund @portalinnovations

#PatientRights #HealthcareTransparency #BWHI #OpenNotes #BlackWomensHealth
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At the Black Women’s Health Imperative, we hold our Black men close to our hearts. This Father’s Day, we’re giving a special shoutout to the fathers, grandfathers, brothers, uncles, and all the amazing men who are showing up for their families and community.

We recognize that the health of our Black men is paramount, and that’s why we’ve created The Men’s Room – a space designed specifically for our brothers. This program offers the tools and resources needed to make transformative lifestyle changes.

This Father’s Day, let’s honor the fellas by encouraging them to prioritize their health.

#happyfathersday #blackmen #mensroom #lifestylechange
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😂😂 We love this parody video from @_hassanah Shoutout to all the moms out there. 💜

#momsofinsta #momsofig #momsofinstagram ##momcomdey #momblogger #notlikeus #parenthumor #funnymomreels #motherhood #momoflittles #momhumor #momlifebelike #sahm #honestmotherhood #funnymoms #newborn
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Ladies, it’s time to advocate for your healthcare! Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and demand the best treatment. Your health is your power, and you deserve the best care.

When patients cant advocate for themselves, Patient Advocacy Organizations (PAOs) play a crucial role. They ensure everyone receives the care they deserve, amplifying voices that may otherwise go unheard. These organizations fight for patient rights, equitable access, and the best possible outcomes.

Join us is empowering patients and bringing awareness to PAOs, visit www.paoactionweek.com

📷: @dor_the_grayt

#PAOActionWeek #BlackWomensHealth #AdvocateForYourself #HealthIsWealth
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Some disappointing news!! Legislation to establish a national right to in vitro fertilization (IVF) was blocked by Senate in today's vote in defense of reproductive rights ahead of the November elections.

The bill needed 60 votes in order to move forward, The final vote was 48-47.

The Right to IVF Act, is a package of four bills that would both establish a nationwide right to IVF and other assisted reproductive technology, as well as lower the costs of IVF treatment to make it more accessible.
#ReproductiveRights #IVFAccess #BlackWomensHealth #HealthEquity
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While LA hospitals are making money, their maternity wards are not and are closing.

Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital is losing money, but it’s committed to keeping open its labor ward. Its decision runs counter to nearby hospitals that are walking away from maternity services.

When for-profit hospitals look at the bottom line and choose to make cuts, one of the first services to disappear is usually maternity care. In the L.A. area, these decisions disproportionately affect low-income Black and Latino women. The closures in L.A. overwhelmingly took place in hospitals where up to 80% of patients had Medi-Cal (California’s medical assistance) and where our women face some of the toughest pregnancy-related complications and highest mortality rates in the state.

Click the link in our bio to read the full story

#MaternalHealthMatters #FightForOurMoms #CommunityFirst
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Morning Roll Call!!

If you know all the lyrics to Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It,” you might just be in perimenopause! 😂

No seriously! we want to hear your perimenopause and menopause experiences! We can learn so much from each other. It’s not all doom and gloom sis. Share your experiences and let’s embrace the journey. #PerimenopauseVibes #AgingLikeFineWine #ThrowbackJams
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Fibroids are a common issue that many Black women face, yet they often go undiscussed. 2 Friends, Khaleelah Harris and Yasmine Griffiths came together to create a nonprofit to raise funds for black women with uterine fibriods.

The Beauty of Our Wellness, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., is on a mission to raise awareness and funds for uterine health disparities affecting the African American community through wellness and arts-related events.
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Weekly meal prep made easy!

Thank you @_bawselady_ for putting us on to something game-changing: easy-to-prep salads that’ll keep us on track for a week of healthy eating! 🌱🥗

No more stressing over what to eat—just grab and go. Let’s make healthy eating simple and fabulous! 💁🏾‍♀️✨

(Be sure to use salt-free seasonings whenever possible 😉)
#HealthyLiving #MealPrepMagic #BlackGirlMagic #WellnessJourney
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June 7th was the 59th anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut, a landmark case in reproductive rights history. In light of this, Dr. Zsanai Epps @enviablezsanai, our Senior Director of Reproductive Justice Initiatives, attended the White House Gender Policy Council's Convening on Access to Contraception. The discussions underscored several critical actions that align with our commitment to shaping reproductive justice policy. These include:

✅ Advocating for expanded ACA benefits for comprehensive reproductive health services.
✅ Combating misinformation and disinformation in reproductive health.
✅ Educating the public on the differences between over-the-counter birth control, emergency contraception, and abortion pills.
✅ Pushing for person-centered reproductive health research.
✅ Developing metrics to measure the effectiveness of programs and policies in addressing unmet community needs.

This past week, the Senate blocked the Right to Contraception Act. As the 2024 elections approach—with 33 Senate seats in play—your vote becomes ever more vital. This November offers a critical opportunity to influence policies affecting reproductive freedoms and beyond.

#MaternalHealth #ReporductiveRights #BlackMaternalHealth #HealthcareForAll
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