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Not Everyone Is an Activist (and Updates on My New Regimen of Atripla)

A Video Blog

July 8, 2011

YES! Not everyone is an activist! And we must respect this ... not all people are prepared to come out of their HIV closet because others want them to. They are not less than anyone -- many of them are still dealing with the shame that comes with the illness. Or they are trying to protect their family members -- especially when there is so much ignorance and stigma with HIV/AIDS. We have to respect other peoples' choices and views. We are their role models ... so if we have it in us to be activists and advocate, let us do that for those that don't feel prepared or ready yet. Or maybe they will never be. And it's not because they don't want to fight for the cause.

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You see, that is where people get it so wrong. Just go back to when you were not disclosing. There is nothing someone could have told you or me that would have made us come out. You go through cycles. That is why we had the Larry Kramers and Ryan Whites who helped us so much in this cause. Yes! HIV/AIDS is being minimized and not really talked about as much; and we (the ones that are ready) must advocate, educate and STOMP on stigma. And when it is time for us to retire, maybe those who looked at our blogs, speeches, vlogs, twitter, facebook will continue.

I want people that are not ready to come out of the HIV closet or be an activist to know that it's OK. You are not a coward! How I was told, some people were being called out by someone on facebook that is an activist. And maybe in her ignorance or desperation wanted everyone to show their faces. NO! It's not that simple.

No one has the right to force you into anything! Just learn from us! and many of us are fighting in our own way to get the word out. Keep on learning from our stories! There will be a time that will come where saying I am HIV positive will be like saying I have diabetes -- I really hope! In the meantime keep yourselves healthy! And take your meds! This is most important! So we can be ready for when the cure comes. I really pray and hope it happens in my lifetime.

Love and Light, Maria T Mejia


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This article was provided by The Well Project. Visit The Well Project's Web site to learn more about their resources and initiatives for women living with HIV. The Well Project shares its content with TheBody.com to ensure all people have access to the highest quality treatment information available. The Well Project receives no advertising revenue from TheBody.com or the advertisers on this site. No advertiser on this site has any editorial input into The Well Project's content.
 
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Reader Comments:

Comment by: ravioli Mc oli (NEW YORK) Tue., Oct. 18, 2011 at 3:22 pm EDT
Maria thank you for educating and spreading your words of wisdom and experience out there. what touched me the was when i read you last words " I really pray and hope it happens in my lifetime." It's sad not knowing if you or others will live to see a cure, and after all the hard work, dedication and love you have put into educating yourself and preventing the spread of HIV, my dear Maria i pray and hope you live to see a cure, as well as my partner.. much love, god bless
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Comment by: Henry (NYC) Sun., Jul. 24, 2011 at 1:26 pm EDT
Maria, I love this particular blog entry. Thank you for discussing the fact that not everyone with HIV should be expected to be an "activist" or to even come out publicly. I also want to add that this so-called specialist you have been seeing for 8 years who thought you should stay on Trizivir cannot be very good if they gave you that advice.
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Comment by: Maria (Miami) Mon., Jul. 25, 2011 at 8:34 pm EDT
Ty for your response! yes and that is what we have to understand and respect! not everyone does things the same way! many of us are silent activists! some are vocal like myself! we are one :) and yes! he only thinks about being undetectable! well I am very well informed! and I think I took a pretty long time! 10 years to get off trizivir ! but I did!

Maria


Comment by: d.t. (fort worth, tx) Tue., Jul. 12, 2011 at 5:48 pm EDT
you know that you are right i dealing with the same problem with telling my family about my diagnosis.
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Replies to this comment:
Comment by: Maria (Miami) Wed., Jul. 20, 2011 at 7:18 pm EDT
take it one step at a time :) good luck!


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Time to Show My Face and Take the Stigma Away


Maria T. Mejia

Maria T. Mejia

I am a 37-year-old Colombian female who lives in Miami, Florida. I've been positive for 20 years. Although almost all my life I've been in long-term relationships with HIV-negative men, I am happily married to a woman who is wonderful and caring. We have been together almost three years and she is HIV negative. I have no children but we will look into having! I am an activist, a peer educator, a caregiver. I volunteered for the Red Cross in education for the Hispanic HIV community and also the American community. I was a pre- and post-test counselor. I have spoken in many conferences and done a lot of outreach in the community, especially in the schools for prevention and education. It is part of my everyday life to educate everyone I can on this subject. Being HIV positive is nothing to be ashamed about! We are strong women, and we will take away all the stigmas slowly but we have to open up.

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Read more blogs by women living with HIV/AIDS at "A Girl Like Me"

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The Well Project shares its content with TheBody.com to ensure all people have access to the highest quality treatment information available. The Well Project receives no advertising revenue from TheBody.com or the advertisers on this site. No advertiser on this site has any editorial input into The Well Project's content.


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