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Rev. Andrena Ingram

Is the Ribbon Enough?


Don't Make Me Unfriend You
June 24, 2012

How sad are you for "unfriending" someone, because you "thought" they had HIV ... then again, thanks for the revelation!

So, the doorbell rings the other day, and it is a person who regularly delivers stuff to St. Mike's. Months ago, he came in, and we somehow got on the topic of HIV (I think I gave him a copy of the article that came out about me). So we talked for awhile about HIV and me, or HIV within the church. It happened so long ago, I forget exactly what the conversation was about.

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Women, Religion and HIV Kenya 2007
June 1, 2012

I'd like to take you on a small journey. I am sure you will find my methodology quite simple... and it begins with a story about a man who ministered to crowds of people, who cured every disease and sickness among the people and who proclaimed the message of God's kingdom -- that is, the good news of God's unfailing love.

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My Early Strength
April 15, 2012

Today is my eldest daughter's 31st birthday, and this post is dedicated to her.

A lot of people always compliment me about how strong I am, in my disease. This was not always the case. In truth, it is because of my children. Most of us, if we cannot find the strength to live for ourselves, carry on expressly for our children. Upon learning of your diagnosis, to hear those words (or words to the effect): "I'm sorry to tell you, you have tested positive ..." is life changing! Life altering! Most of us long-term survivors can remember everything about that day ... the color of the room, what was on the walls, "that look" of the person telling you.

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Is Your Church Testing for HIV?
April 5, 2012

Years ago, as I began my CPE training (Clinical Pastoral Education) in a hospital in New York, I entered an office and saw this painting, and was intrigued. I learned about the artist -- Maxwell Lawton, and even had the opportunity to speak with him briefly on the telephone. I am sorry I never got to meet him in person. He passed away in 2006. You can learn more about him here.

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I'm Swallowing as Fast as I Can
April 4, 2012

How's this for The Last Supper?

I saw this painting on one of my Facebook friend's wall. It is quite striking isn't it? It is called "The Last Supper", and is by an artist by the name of Shiralee Siebert from Cape Town, South Africa. She does fantastic artwork and is available for commission, which this piece was done for. Her website is: Art by Shiralee Siebert. Okay, I needed to make sure I gave credit where credit is more than due!

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Celebration of Life Womens Support Groups vs the Church Ugh!
March 28, 2012

I had the "pleasure" of speaking tonight to a group of women, who are living with HIV. I met the Director of the organization which leads this group, after my November Citywide article came out. She finally emailed me, and came to meet me during one of our Community Meals. She asked me to come and speak to the women.

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Do You Wear the Ribbon?
March 26, 2012

Greetings! I came up with the name for my blog from the one symbol which is universally recognized in the HIV and AIDS fight. The red ribbon.

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A Leper Colony by Any Other Name
March 5, 2012

Did you know, that when the AIDS epidemic hit in the '80s, there was a proposal to isolate all persons with AIDS? I first heard this last year. The proposal came from none other than Mike Huckabee, who wanted an AIDS "quarantine," and what's more, wanted to separate the homosexuals, who in his mind posed a dangerous health risk. This is what was written about him in the Huffington Post ...

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This Is My Body, Given for You
February 5, 2012

What do condoms have to do with the words of institution we hear each Sunday (or whenever the pastor is about to give communion)? These are familiar words to us, as we remember the Lord's Supper, when he first spoke these words to his disciples on the "night in which he was betrayed." They remind us of the betrayal, and the crucifixion: when he gave his life up, to be a ransom for many. He told us to remember him in the body and the blood -- the bread and the wine.

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I Get Tested Too!
January 23, 2012

I can't believe how many years I have been doing this. I got tested once for HIV, and now I still get my blood tested every three months to see what the virus is doing in my body. For the past 23 years, I have been doing this! Twenty three years ago, I remember getting "tested" every other month. During one stint, I was getting my blood tested every month. That was a bummer.

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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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