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.
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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Time to Show My Face and Take the Stigma Away
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.
Read more blogs by women living with HIV/AIDS at "A Girl Like Me"
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