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HIV Does Not Define Me

May 28, 2013

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This article was cross-posted from "A Girl Like Me," a program of The Well Project.

Maria T. Mejia

Well, I was told by someone who made a comment on my pic and my personal Facebook profile (which is at left) that although they admired my work and spirit, I shouldn't make HIV so "Fashionista." He went on to tell me that HIV/AIDS is something very serious and a matter of life and death. Well, I have been living with HIV since I was a teen ... got infected at 16 in 1989 and diagnosed in 1991. I know what living with HIV is, and I for damn sure know I am more than this virus!

Do people really expect people living with HIV/AIDS to look sick and to be suicidal and depressed? Well, NO!! I refuse to be a victim!! I am a survivor. I am just a normal human being who is PASSIONATE about HIV education and prevention!!! But this does not mean that I am not going to take care of myself, my appearance, my spirit, have fun, live life to the fullest and try to be as happy as I can be. Does this person really expect us to be all down on ourselves with an "Oh, poor me" attitude? NO! I do not choose to live this way!! Please, be the happiest you can be! You can live with HIV or any other trial or struggle and still make the best out of a negative situation! In life we choose two paths: We take the path of life, love and success (with all the trials and struggles); or we can choose to live like we are dead! So yes, I am in love, I have my career, I try to be the best human being I can be, I love to help others, I love to travel, eat, shop, work out, and I love fashion -- pretty much a normal woman who is living with HIV and made it to 40 ... but, DOES NOT LET HIV DEFINE WHO SHE IS!

Love and light,
Maria Mejia


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This article was provided by The Well Project. Visit The Well Project's Web site to learn more about their resources and initiatives for women living with HIV. The Well Project shares its content with TheBody.com to ensure all people have access to the highest quality treatment information available. The Well Project receives no advertising revenue from TheBody.com or the advertisers on this site. No advertiser on this site has any editorial input into The Well Project's content.
 

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Time to Show My Face and Take the Stigma Away


Maria T. Mejia

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.

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Read more blogs by women living with HIV/AIDS at "A Girl Like Me"

A Girl Like Me

The Well Project shares its content with TheBody.com to ensure all people have access to the highest quality treatment information available. The Well Project receives no advertising revenue from TheBody.com or the advertisers on this site. No advertiser on this site has any editorial input into The Well Project's content.


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