Williamsport: 570-322-8448 State College: 814-272-0818 info@aidsresource.com

A Statement Regarding PA Harm Reduction Coalition

AIDS Resource Alliance is a collective of individuals who care deeply and passionately about not only people living with HIV, but also those relegated to live marginally due to harmful stigma. We are hurt and saddened by the allegations of misconduct and manipulation of vulnerable women, femmes, and sex workers by the former executive director of the PA Harm Reduction Coalition.

These events remind us that, even in spaces borne of compassion and inclusivity, actions can occur that are harmful and demeaning to anyone who does not enjoy the privilege of power. We condemn these actions unequivocally. We believe without doubting and stand without tiring with women, femmes, and sex workers wounded by these actions. We support unequivocally the rights of sex workers to exist, and to support themselves without fear of harassment, bodily harm, or death. Sex work is work.

We continue to believe in the importance of harm reduction as a valid tool for decreasing substance abuse stigma while keeping those who use substances safe and educating a greater community misled by years of failed drug policies and misguided information.
We will use this as an opportunity to create a better organization, and to identify our failings in creating a place of love, acceptance, and safety for everyone. It is no longer enough to say that we will do our best: there is always more to learn and more that we can improve. We will be honest about our shortcomings and seek input from the communities we serve to become better allies.

An unfortunate truth of the fight for justice is that not everyone in the spaces we create for safety have the best interests of their fellow soldiers in mind. In those instances when our compatriots are wounded by another, we choose to support the wounded and create spaces where healing can occur, and to strengthen them to continue to fight. We believe you and we are with you.