Connie Johnson - Intro

My name is Connie L. Johnson. I am a daughter, a sister, a niece, and a friend who lives with HIV. I was quite familiar with HIV/AIDS when I was diagnosed in October 2002 because my mother had been diagnosed with the disease several years prior. After a long painful fight, AIDS won and my mother, Gladys Bell Dean Johnson, passed away two days shy of her forty-fifth birthday on January 26, 1995. She was so ashamed of the diagnosis that very few family members and none of her friends knew of her illness until her funeral service was being planned. When I received a positive diagnosis seven years later I immediately vowed to myself and God that I wouldn't remain silent like my mother did. I instantly began disclosing to family and friends. Many were shocked about the diagnosis but most of them were emotionally supportive and encouraged me to stay in care. Although I have experienced depression, sickness, poverty and homelessness since being diagnosed I am happy to say that today I LIVE positively! I enjoy singing, writing, reading, laughing and spending time with a host of family and friends who love me unconditionally. After several failed attempts to finish college, in 2008 I earned a B.A. in Child and Family Studies and I'm currently working towards earning a M.A. in Social Justice and Community Development at Loyola University Chicago.

Why Connie wants to be a part of A Girl Like Me: I would like to be a part of A Girl Like Me because I am aware that there are thousands of women like my mother who would rather suffer in silence than to confront the possibility of negative stigma and marginalization that often accompanies disclosing. I would like to offer my voice to the world on behalf of women around the globe who have yet to discover their own voices.

Tags: 

like0

Comments

lovinglife101's picture

Connie, welcome! It is wonderful to have you here. Keep up the positive attitude and good luck with your studies. I hope to hear more from you soon. Take care.

like0

Nicole's picture

Thank you for being a overcomer. Be blessed

like0

Nancy Duncan's picture

Connie, thanks for sharing, your Mom is looking down on you and must be so proud!

like0

Lynn2011's picture

Wow, what a positive message you live, and give to your mother by living your life openly. Welcome !

Lynn

like0

sonyamallard's picture

Just to hear you say that you want your voice to be heard, and not live is silence is a "WOW" factor. Thank you for sharing, caring, and allowing us to LISTEN to your voice! Powerful :) Sonya

like0

ConnieJ's picture

Thanks for all of the positive words ladies!

like0

Connie's picture

Correction to Loyola Student Dispatch article: Connie is a contributor to not creator of A Girl Like Me...

like0

Blog themes: 

Do you get our newsletter?

admin's picture

Sign up for our monthly Newsletter and get the latest info in you in box.

seventh name
Tue, 11/25/2014 - 1:21pm
Tue, 11/25/2014 - 1:17pm

Lipodystrophy means abnormal fat changes. This article addresses treatments for fat loss, or lipoatrophy.

Learn about methadone and buprenorphine, how they can help you with a heroin or opiate addiction, how they interact with HIV drugs, and more.

Learn how to read the package insert that comes with your HIV drugs, what information is in it, and how you can use that information.

Browse Blogs by Theme