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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Are You Clean?

By Rev. Andrena Ingram

June 14, 2013

Clean up your language!

Clean up your language!

Does your language need a good wash????

Singing: "You're not fully clean, unless you're gracefully clean"!

By now, you know that hashtags are being utilized on Facebook. I decided to hashtag #hiv and found a statement along these lines, which basically stated that the person took the "at home HIV Test" and tested negative.

He stated: "I'm clean"!

... and my #stigma radar went through the roof!

See, it's language like that which keeps folks from finding out their status. That "clean" word implies that those who test positive are 'dirty'. Language like that keeps people from getting the help they need. Language like that is shaming.

I got tested over 25 years ago ... my test results came back that I am HIV positive ... and you know what? I am STILL clean!

... and as an added bonus .... I am 'gracefully' clean. Thanks be to God!

Much thanks to The Stigma Project for the image!

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See Also
What Does HIV/AIDS Stigma Look Like in Your Life?
More on Stigma and HIV/AIDS

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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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