Hello Everyone, My name is Amani Nadira Wilson. I am 42 years old and I'm from Bridgeport, Connecticut, now residing in Austin Texas. Ok!! My story is a little bit different. Although I am not HIV positive, I am deeply affected by this illness. I lost two uncles 5 years apart from each other to this illness. Also, I have 2 very close friends with the virus.

I myself had a scare 2 years ago. I've been celibate for almost 6 years and the last person I was intimate with, the condom broke. I knew, I said and did nothing. I allowed us to continue unprotected. It was a one night stand and I went on with my life with not even a thought of that night. Time passed and 2 years ago, I received an inbox from his sister informing me that her brother had been diagnosed with AIDS..... Whoaaaa!!!

For 2 whole years, I tortured myself. I was so afraid of hearing a positive diagnosis. The thoughts that went through my mind were of my 2 close friends who are HIV positive and how brave they are. They do not allow sad thoughts or depression to control their lives. In other words, HIV does not control them, they control HIV and I wondered, if in fact I were positive, would I be able to handle it as gracefully as they have? Finally, after 2 years, this past August I found the courage to get tested and I got a nonreactive result.

So, all of this led me to be an ACTIVE part of this fight. I believe if more HIV negative people like myself speak out and are heard, stigma will have no place in this fight called HIV! In my opinion, close minded and ignorant people only see HIV positive people fighting, so in their narrow minds they feel like "Oh well, not our problem". BUT!! If more HIV negative people put our faces and voices to this fight, then maybe, just maybe things will click in people’s heads and they will start to think “Hey!! Maybe we are together in this!!”

I was asked if I could date or even marry an HIV positive person and my answer was "Absolutely.” My answer brought on such an ugly debate that it ended a 12 year friendship between that person and I!!

Why Amani wants to be part of A Girl Like Me’s "Voices from Our Allies": It is important for me to blog for Voices from Our Allies because I want to join the fight with my sisters to eradicate stigma and ignorance and to show an HIV negative face that is just as passionate to bring HIV to an end!

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