Up until this point, I have shared with you my story of how I contracted this disease. There are so many things that still have not been said. Although my health is a constant struggle for me, I am starting to feel like my struggles are not in vain. I have come to believe that everything we go through is for a purpose. We can either choose to use the situations in a positive or negative way.
So often in my life, I have chosen the wrong paths. I have always let my circumstances and situations control my actions. This time around, I have chosen to let my actions dictate what circumstances and situations I create.
With that being said, I have decided to use my status to help others that may be suffering and feel alone. I have been working with several different agencies in my town to change the way that our community view women with HIV and AIDS. Often when services are offered, they target gay, transgender, and bisexual men. But what about us? Those women like me who were the victim of someone else’s selfishness, carelessness and shame. Those women that don’t have a voice. Those women whose only crime was to love and trust someone.
It is starting to be recognized that AIDS an HIV is not just a cultural problem but a societal one. The statistics state that the African American population has the highest diagnosis rating. It is not an issue that is talked about within our culture. It is a lot like Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Although some of us feel the need to protect we have yet to get to the point where we feel comfortable enough to inform. A lot of this centers around the stigma associated with being HIV positive or having Aids.
I must admit that until I contracted this disease, I was properly armed with the facts, but I still lived in fear. I mentioned in one of my posts about the friend of my ex husband that had AIDS. Although I knew the ways that you contracted AIDS, I still had a fear of getting it through casual contact. It had become my mission to educate and inform the public that HIV and AIDS is nothing to fear. it is a manageable disease like cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure or any other chronic disease that requires daily maintenance.
I hope to be able through this blog and other avenues to dispel the stigma, the shame and the fear associated with HIV and AIDS. When you bring your own dishes and silverware to our house not only is it insulting, it is very hurtful. HIV is not transmitted through saliva, therefore stop doing that. If we decide to kiss you on your cheek, you do not have to wipe it away. We simply want to show and be shown love and affection.
Until next time… Take care of your health