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