The other day I read a blog on another website that caught my eye. The blog is titled, “Is it Homophobia or “Heterophobia”? Tell Them That It’s Human Nature, ” and while it was very well written, I felt the need to respond and wrote the following comment to the author:
Extremely well written article....you had my 100% agreement UNTIL, you stated, quite erroneously, that there is funding for all HIV demographics except heterosexual black men.
I am a heterosexual white woman, infected with HIV in 2002 at the age of 48. Because of many of life's ups and downs, I stopped my meds, and have been living with AIDS (current viral load undetectable, but cd4 remains 175-225) since 2008. I have been excluded from studies because I'm not a "woman of color" done by Duke University (which had significant stipend for participating). My own case manager (mandated that we have one by Ryan White) has a support group for women...I AM excluded, because I'm not a woman of color.
I face the same challenges that my friends here in Winston-Salem....the major difference...even though I'm NOT compensated, I am essentially the ONLY open face of HIV/AIDS in our area.
I've been the "face" of our ASO, AIDS Care Services....and I LOVE being the face....but it's me, because others, all of color (with once in blue moon exception of 3), I'm the face because others refuse to openly come out as being HIV+...no matter what their gender/race/sexual preference.
All these words are to say, if you look at ads in magazines, studies that seek participants....I've rarely, if ever, found any for a woman like me living with AIDS!