10 Black HIV/AIDS Advocates Who Are Making a Difference
April 2, 2012
Michelle Anderson, Program Assistant/Certified Peer Educator, The Afiya Center, Dallas, Diagnosed in 1999
In 2011, Michelle Anderson achieved a great feat: Not only was she crowned Miss Plus America, but she became the first woman living with HIV/AIDS to do so. The title is a far cry from where her life was almost a decade ago, when she was addicted to drugs and learned of her status in a treatment facility in 1999.
"I thought I was going to die," Michelle recalls. "Life would be over." Instead, "I was able to empower myself. Getting tested saved my life."
And empowering others as a means to save and better their lives is exactly what she's been doing. Over the past few years, Michelle has been a fearless HIV/AIDS advocate, especially in her home state of Texas, where black women bear the brunt of this epidemic. In addition to her work for the Afiya Center for HIV Prevention and Sexual Reproductive Justice in Dallas, she also serves as co-chair for Campaign to End AIDS Texas, and travels across the country talking about her own personal experiences as a sexual abuse survivor and how that abuse impacted her own self-worth, putting her further at risk for HIV.
Comment by: nelson
Tue., May. 28, 2013 at 3:15 am EDT
thank u very much michelle after reading your profile i was uplifted im now sure about how we should handle life after one is diagnose with hiv thanks.
Comment by: Theresa
Tue., Aug. 7, 2012 at 1:11 pm EDT
I have ask myself for 15 years now, where are all the white hiv/aids advocates, mother's daughter's and grandmother's just like me living with hiv. yet to meet or run into at one of many of my 15 years of dr visits a white women just like me?
Comment by: TOM ONSONGO
Wed., Jul. 4, 2012 at 3:01 am EDT
Am a man living with HIV for over 20 years that is when I knew my status. I suffered serious self stigma untill I went through treatment literacy. This changed my life for ever. Today I am a programme director of an NGO fighting HIV in kenya. Correct and accurate informatio on HIV/AIDS is key in fightin this disease.
Comment by: Shanasha Whitson
Wed., Apr. 18, 2012 at 3:24 pm EDT
There are 5, 344.861 people in MN, 5.2 % are black but we make up 33% of people infected in Minnesota. As a medical case manager at The Minneapolis Urban League I offer case management for people of color who are positive. We ofer an array of service that keep people in care and get people connected to services. We have got to take back our power and ensure our communities health and wellness.
Comment by: Teresa Sullivan
Mon., Apr. 9, 2012 at 9:34 am EDT
Congrats Brook Kelly, you deserve to be honored and the PWN is grateful to have you as a ally for women living with HIV/AIDS. Your ROCK!
Comment by: Robin Brennan, DrPH
Tue., Apr. 3, 2012 at 4:02 pm EDT
Michael Everett is an empowering leader and human rights advocate who is truly making a difference. His dedication and compassion are inspiring.
Comment by: Gigi Green
Tue., Apr. 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm EDT
Angela Green is my sister. She is a very special person who makes a difference in many lives. I am so glad that she is being recognized for the wonderful woman that she is.
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