In praise of - and how we must rally for all women

Submitted on Mar 19, 2012 by  bee2art

I'm proud of Maria Teresa! I love her passion and courage for educating people about HIV/AIDS.  I read her blogs and hope someday to be able to come out as well.  In the meantime I carry my secret like a heavy backpack of stone.  What helps me is working with teenagers educating them to lead healthy lifestyles while teaching them to express themselves through their art.

As a co-sponsor with our school's Gay Straight Alliance, the group made T-shirts for World AIDS Day (Dec. 1st) - 40 kids and teachers wore them with a time (every nine and a half minutes) showing someone infected somewhere in the world.  Our Red Ribbon Project (HIV/AIDS local group) had free testing for the kids and transportation to get to the clinic to be tested (not allowed to do it in the school due to legal issues).  Our local Christian school and some families of the kids attending our school went just about ballistic when they heard we might have testing at school.

My most recent fear is the strong political backlash the Republicans and the religious right are waging against women and health.  With the news of a bill in Arizona close to being passed concerning the use of contraceptives for medical use only and the ramifications for women's health I believe women really need to take action.  If Arizona passes the bill it opens the doors for other states to do the same.  I'm appalled that in 2012 we are still having conversations concerning women and their ability to make choices for their own bodies.  I have always felt proud to be a women living in America right now but the agendas I'm hearing from the Republican candidates scare the hell out of me.

As a teenager in the early 70's fighting for reproductive rights and as a grand daughter of a suffragette fighting for the voting rights of women in her day, I believe it's time for all women in America to take up this new charge - call your senators and legislators and demand fair health care for all women without invasion of privacy.  Women with HIV/AIDS will be stigmatized even more if we stand by and let narrow-minded thinking become law.

Submitted by mumbaiyyagal

Hi bee2art

It takes a lot of guts and courage for a LONE woman having no support system to come out in the open, face the world and declare their status, fully aware that they are endangering their life, and can be stigmatised/discriminated/ostracised any time. It takes even the more courage to reveal your name and your face publicily specially in a country where such issues are treated as "untouchables" and one could risk losing a job, a house, family and friends for the same.
Maria had her mother and her partner as her strong support system. Their love gave her strength and power to fight.
There are few others who are happily married with their either poz or neg partners and building/rebuilding their life and thus dont hesitate to tell their story.
There are also few others who wanted to be heard but hide their overall identity...
Such is the status of living under fear that anything can happen to us anyday.....
But still, we needed to be heard...thus we try every possible way to tell our remaining anonymous, using aliases, or thru medium, or thru enormous support of either family/friends/partner/communities....
This HATRED to the disease has to stop...there is nothing in it to hate us for....
This IGNORANCE has to is not so dangerous the way it was defined years before...
This STIGMA/DISCRIMINATION has to stop....coz it is no more a sex/drug addict disease...even a person next to you have it but u may never know!!!!
Last but not least, they should be knowing the difference between HIV and AIDS....these two thou inter-related are POLES APART........HIV is NOT AIDS.....

Submitted by MariaHIVMejia

Ty so much for this...I got infected in 1989, and diagnosed in 1991.. It was a death sentence and even though I had my mother as a teenager it was very hard to deal with the fact that people were just support system,no Internet,no blogs NOTHING...I am a survivor..and people that are getting infected in the last decade have it much easier.more meds, more support ( even if it's not from family ) I have been blessed to have my partner of 4 years..but I didn't meet her until many years after my diagnosis..I hope you can come out of the HIV closet one day..and I can help motivate that as I did with so many like gal here and so many more..this is my mission in one has it easier...but the fact is that I wish we had all these resoures 23 years ago! We are ver blessed to hVe them now .

Much love and light


Submitted by mumbaiyyagal

Hi B2! I live in CO as well. So I wanted you to are not alone! I love to go hiking up there, I live on the front range. I see no other way to contact you except leaving a message for you here. Hope to chat with you soon!!! Spring is coming!

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