At present, A Family Affair Living Our Best Life (AFA) is the only organization in South Carolina founded by a Black Woman living with HIV for more than thirty years. AFA's board is comprised of Black Women living with HIV, affected family members, and concerned congregation and community members. Our board lives in the community and shares their stories with the purpose of tearing down the intersectional walls of stigma and trauma. We put a face to HIV, this constituency supports the following activities:
Support Groups - A Family Affair runs two spiritual based support groups, Life Beyond the Sign and Love Your Life.
Keeper of Memorial Garden - The Serenity Garden is the first Memorial Garden decided to those who have lost their lives from complications of AIDS in South Carolina. The mission of this Serenity Garden is to maintain a dedicated space in Orangeburg, SC, where anyone who has been touched by HIV and AIDS can grieve openly without being stigmatized. Those who visit find comfort among others whose lives have been affected by HIV and AIDS and can experience the feeling of renewal and hope inherent in nature.
Raising Our Awareness and Representation (SC ROAR) - A retreat for black women living with HIV over the age of fifty. This event spreads knowledge about living our best life as we age.
Technical Assistance Provider - Provides subject matter expertise in partnerships with entities involved in trauma-informed support, intergenerational dialogue, helping people organize positively, and repeal of HIV criminalization laws.
Micro Enterprising - A Family Affair's, a Reflection of You is a microenterprise program designed to address income insecurity for rural women living with HIV in South Carolina. A Reflection of You addresses poverty by providing women living with HIV with the opportunity to become crafters and entrepreneurs. A Family Affair's microenterprise program is based on Common Threads, a peer-led HIV training that addresses social determinants of health as an integrated prevention, trauma-informed, and vocational development training. The training is designed to increase self-esteem, sociability, economic well-being, and HIV-self management while at the same time reducing the stigma and resulting silence and isolation associated with HIV and AIDS. A Family Affair honors and pays homage to South Carolinian, Juanita Williams, Mastercraft, and Common Threads Trainer. Juanita uses her gifts and talents as a crafter to address poverty as a social determinant of health.
For 2021, A Family Affair strives to achieve the following three (3) goals:
1. Introduce Common Threads, a prevention and vocational intervention for addressing intersectional traumatic and stigmatizing life experiences for women living with HIV. The prevention or health education aspect of Common Threads helps participants understand and explore traumatic lived experiences that may have contributed to acquiring HIV. The vocational rehabilitation aspect of Common Threads provides participants with information on conducting a social enterprise – in this instance – a microenterprise, an economic community collective where women make and sell their crafts for supplemental financial support.
2. Advocate For The Family Planning Needs of Women. A Family Affair is committed to ensuring women understand gender-specific human and sexual development across the life span and understand how to care and advocate for themselves during their pre-reproductive (childhood/teen), reproductive (Young to middle adulthood) and post-reproductive years (middle adulthood to senior or seasoned years).
3. Address Related Health Conditions that are exacerbating the spread of HIV and leading to poorer health outcomes, such as sexually transmitted diseases inclusive of Hepatitis C, substance use, mental health disorders (i.e., depression and anxiety), and poverty.