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Rev. Andrena Ingram

Is the Ribbon Enough?

What's Faith Got to Do With It?
June 13, 2014

Please, don't take this personal. When folks talk about faith and HIV, I can only go from my experience and the experiences I have gathered on my journey and the journey of those blessed men and women who have shared their faith experience with me.

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Infected! Oh, My!
April 5, 2014

How many of you remember being told that you had tested positive for the antibodies which cause HIV? I remember it like it was yesterday! The results were shocking, nothing would EVER be the same! I was filled with dread, I was filled with shame, and I was filled with fear. Took me a few years to get comfortable in my skin.

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HIV, Plantations and the Holy Ones
March 7, 2014

Well, beloved Black History Month has taken on a deeper meaning for me this year. I have learned of some noteworthy, and yet unknown Black folk in my family tree,Which I began tending back in 2006 but its growth was stunted because I could not get past my great grandma Alice on my mother's side of the family.

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Say What You Wanna Say: Be Brave on World AIDS Day
December 1, 2013

This post is for World AIDS Day 2013. It is in honor of those who call me, or make appointments with me to finally disclose your status, for those who read my blog posts on, and reach out to me. It is a post for all who are contemplating coming out from wherever you are. You are loved and supported!

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HIV -- At an Airport Near You!
November 15, 2013

I am well known to walk around my community on Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia in my HIV shirt. I have worn my shirt at a conference in Orlando (pretty much insulated with church folk). I wear my HIV shirt in supermarkets.

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I'm Free!
August 29, 2013

I can't begin to tell you how LIBERATING and FREEING that was! I began smoking at age 15...and have smoked for 43 years. I did have one successful year in seminary when I stopped smoking, but picked up again, after a relationship went sour. Contrary to what folks may believe, I don't know that most smokers actually LOVE it. It's an addiction. Nicotine is harder to kick than alcohol and most drugs!

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Take Your Meds! (Video)
August 28, 2013

This is in response to a few articles that seem to be making the rounds about certain "pastors/faith leaders" telling folks to stop taking their medication. And that "God" will heal them.

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You're in My Stuff
July 26, 2013

About two weeks ago, I spent the whole day with someone at the VA (Veterans Administration) Hospital. He confided to me that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and needed support for his first visit. The visit was at least 3 hours long. They very slowly and thoroughly explained his prognosis, and his treatment plan. It was so informative ... by the end of the visit, I was on information overload! I can't imagine how he or anyone else can process all that information at once.

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Are You Clean?
June 14, 2013

Does your language need a good wash????

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For Better or for Worse
June 2, 2013

Grief is funny ... you go through the stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Supposedly in that order.

I grieved the death of my husband for years, went through all the stages, but am finding that even after the stage of acceptance, one can revisit the stages all over again!

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See Also
More Personal Accounts of Women With HIV/AIDS

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Is the Ribbon Enough?

Rev. Andrena Ingram

Rev. Andrena Ingram

Reverend Andrena Ingram (also known as "Pastor Andrena" or "Pastor Ingram") has become a strong advocate for those living in the margins, as she once was. She is an activist in the HIV/AIDS arena, herself living openly and unabashedly with the HIV virus for over 22+ years.

Raised in South Jamaica, New York, Reverend Ingram served seven years of active duty in the U.S. Army. She would later move to the South Bronx, where she attended Transfiguration Lutheran Church with Pastor Heidi Neumark as her pastor and mentor -- empowering her to rise up out of herself and her life challenges, which seemed to her, at the time, insurmountable.

Reverend Ingram is a graduate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, with a Master of Divinity. She has been the pastor of St. Michael's Lutheran Church on Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa., for the past four years.

Reverend Ingram can frequently be found speaking about HIV/AIDS, encouraging everyone "to know your status, get tested, and be informed." Silence = Death.

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