The Tennessee AIDS Advocacy Network (TAAN) is a non-partisan association of people affected by and concerned about HIV/AIDS in Tennessee.
Our mission to improve awareness among policymakers and the public about HIV/AIDS as a continuing public health priority within our state and the United States as a whole. Our goal is preservation, expansion and strengthening of the safety net of HIV prevention, care, treatment and support that addresses the needs of our fellow citizens at risk for or living with HIV and AIDS.
We work in cooperation with the Tennessee Department of Health’s HIV/AIDS/STD Services Section to ensure a coordinated, compassionate and cost-effective response to HIV/AIDS in our communities. TAAN is facilitated and supported by Nashville CARES, Tennessee’s leading community-based HIV/AIDS service organization. CARES serves as fiscal agent for the network. TAAN members may be individuals, non-profit organizations, civic associations, and government or business entities who agree with the mission of TAAN and agree to share contact information for the purposes of communication and mobilization. The TAAN list is kept confidential and never shared with any other group or organization.
Membership in TAAN is no indication of an individual’s HIV status, whether positive or negative. HIV/AIDS affects all of us, and everyone is welcome to be a part of our work.
Since its founding by a group of concerned citizens in 1985, Nashville CARES has worked to give voice to people living with or affected by HIV, both in the development of CARES programs and in advocating for public policy which prevents new HIV infections and meets the needs of people living with the disease. This commitment led Nashville CARES to be one of the first southern members of the AIDS Action Council of Washington D.C., and in 2005, CARES increased its involvement in state policy when it joined the debate over TennCare’s plan to disenroll 181,000 Tennesseans, including 1,300 people living with HIV.
In 2007, Nashville CARES received funding from AIDS United’s Southern REACH initiative to help found the Tennessee AIDS Advocacy Network, a non-partisan coalition of groups and individuals working together to improve awareness among policymakers and the public about HIV/AIDS as a continuing public health priority within our state and the United States as a whole. Since that time, TAAN has worked on numerous issues which impact the fight against HIV/AIDS in Tennessee, including Medicaid expansion, comprehensive sex education, health reform, and HIV criminalization.
As the only statewide HIV/AIDS-focused advocacy effort, TAAN has expanded its membership and its influence both at the Capitol and in the community. In 2014, TAAN hosted its first large scale HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on the Hill, bringing together nearly 50 advocates from across Tennessee to talk with lawmakers about the importance of continued HIV funding and programs. This year, TAAN worked closely with the Coalition for a Healthy Tennessee to raise support Governor Haslam’s Insure Tennessee plan, as well as members of law enforcement and the Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drugs and other Addiction Services (TAADAS) to pass legislation addressing needle stick injuries among law enforcement.
Although these policy achievements are important, they would not be possible without the support and participation of TAAN members from across the state who give of their time, and share their story. Holding true to Nashville CARES’ commitment to community engagement, TAAN will continue to work to address barriers to ending the AIDS epidemic in our state.
We seek to develop a diverse, knowledgeable and growing network of people and organizations in Tennessee who advocate for issues of importance to those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
We believe we achieve more when we work together. TAAN works with many organizations both inside and outside the HIV/AIDS field to plan for and promote public policy that improves the lives of people living with HIV while furthering efforts to reduce HIV infections in Tennessee.
We strive to be Tennessee’s leading resource on evidence-informed HIV-related policy.