By Brooke Davidoff
December 17, 2011
In the streets they gather
You stole their houses
Let them bail out your bank
They have nowhere to go
You outsourced their jobs
You don't care
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
History is written daily. Little things impact us that we see on the news that we did not expect. Things like Columbine and Katrina, 9/11, Virginia Tech. Well, Occupy found ME. These are MY people. This is MY cause. More than 50 percent of my income goes to rent. The last few weeks we have had rent and gas money and $100.00 for groceries for two weeks -- that's it.
I was supposed to go to the doctor a few months ago and don't even have the money for my co-pay to get into the doctor. What's the point of medical insurance when you can't afford to use it?
We are all affected by the economy.
According to HIVPlusMag.com: "HIV-positive residents in 39 U.S. cities may soon be facing difficulty accessing some federally supported AIDS services because of program cuts to offset steep Ryan White funding reductions. The Department of Health and Human Services awarded $595 million nationwide in Ryan White AIDS funds in March; the amount is about $5 million less than distributed in 2003. Funding cuts ranged from 3 to nearly 14 percent ..."
How can we logically cut funding? If you are HIV+ and on meds there has to be some financial help to keep you on meds to keep US out of hospitals.
We went to Occupy Seattle, took Myles to his first protest; my dad would be proud. Walked among 500+ people fed up with the system. Our generation has needed a movement like this for a long time. They had a sit-in in front of a Chase bank. I hadn't felt so much unity since AIDS Walk. We need to stand up for each other more in America.
Watching the videos of Occupy Oakland where my brother lives made me sick: police beating nonviolent protesters. Where are we, Iran? Since when did America become against free speech?
Thursday December 1st, eight people were arrested at Occupy Wall Street in New York for protesting cuts to HIV/AIDS housing and services. The cuts in New York alone were $10 million. More than 110,000 people in New York have HIV/AIDS per NY1.com.
To make this issue hit home even more: I was talking to a woman who found me on TheBody.com. She lives in Mozambique and is married, pregnant and HIV+. She gets FREE medical care. Free meds at an HIV clinic all sponsored by the U.S. and the UN. She was saying when she was diagnosed her husband wanted to move them to the U.S. for better health care for her and the baby. In talking we have both realized here is NOT better. Not by any means. She gets two months off maternity leave at full pay, free meds. When I was pregnant, my out-of-pocket cost for meds alone was $500 a month.
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Voice of ONE
Brooke was diagnosed HIV positive in January 2010 -- two months married and 11 weeks pregnant with her first baby -- and has already begun to educate others about HIV. She lives in Seattle, and her poetry has been featured on TheBody.com. Her son was born on July 15, 2010.
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