Remembering My Mom and Sister on National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Mina K.'s picture

The Office of Women's Health picked me for one of the ambassadors for National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. That is on March 10 every year so it's tomorrow. 

 

There are lots of ambassadors, a group of us. Everybody is doing something different to help educate people about HIV for NWGHAAD.

I didn't know what I was going to do. I didn't want to do interviews or videos because I'm shy. I can't plan a big event because I'm just a kid. I don't have money to set something up. I could ask my parents for help, but I'm getting older and trying to do more things on my own. I don't want my parents doing everything for me all my life. I want to make my own way in my life. I'm 15, not a baby.

I was on Twitter when I got the idea. There was this cute little girl who's 5 years old who dressed up like Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman and other important black women for Black History Month. She picked a different person and dressed like one of them every day.

I thought her idea was cool. I decided I would pick a different woman with HIV and tweet about them every day of March if I can. Because there's a lot of women with HIV and they are important. Girls with HIV need to see that we can grow up to be like this.

I'm running out of people and it's only the second week. So if anyone has people they can tell me about, it would help me a lot! But today and tomorrow I already have the perfect two people to write about.

I don't have a lot to write because I don't remember much about them. But they are #9 today and #10 tomorrow. My mom and my big sister who are both in heaven.

My mom and my sister are the first two women I ever knew with HIV. My mom, dad, and sister left their home country because of danger and they wanted to stay alive. My mom was pregnant with me and very weak. She already had AIDS, and so did my dad and sister. But they couldn't wait until I was born to leave. They had to rush.

They went as refugees to another country where they could be safe. Even though my mom was weak and sick, she loved me enough to fight to stay alive long enough to nurse me so I could get a little older and have a chance to survive. She died when I was a baby. Then it was just my dad and my sister until they died.

My sister was two years older than me. She was always sick and throwing up. I was very sick too because my dad didn't have money to get HIV meds for us that much. But she liked to sing a lot to make me feel better when I was sick. She looked like me.

I don't remember my family much, but I am still alive because they sacrificed their life for me. By going to another country where I had a chance to be safe, and after they died I was able to come to the US and start taking medicine. I had AIDS when I first came to the US, but I started meds and I became undetectable. I have a new family and I have been with them for ten years now.

It's because my mom, dad, and sister loved me so much that I am here today. I have a great family with parent, brothers, and sisters and I love them, but I will always love my mom, dad, and sister and I will always be thankful they cared so much about me. I dedicate National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and day #9 and #10 to my mom and my sister.

I was a sick refugee girl dying of AIDS. Now I am a young woman LIVING with HIV. I am going to live my life and help other people so I can make both of my families in heaven and on earth proud.

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