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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Janine Brignola


More Than a Statistic
October 29, 2013

I am a young, heterosexual, Caucasian woman living with HIV. I am not in the major demographic of people living affected with HIV, or categorized as a "high-risk" group, but does that mean my story is less important?

You don't need me to tell you that there is stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS. Because of that stigma, we who live with HIV are often afraid. Rather than uniting to show the world that HIV has a face, we hide and become ashamed for having this "dirty disease."

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The Journey Is the Gift, the Past Is the Gratitude
August 19, 2013

Every day we can find a million cliché quotes strung up on walls, on billboards, posters, framed, attached to pictures warning us to heed the words of the wise women and men that came before us telling us of life's precious moments. Warning us to never take for granted the things we have because it is in an instant that a person's life can change forever. Most of us pass these quotes by not even acknowledging them, some stop and read them and remark on their wisdom and beauty, while some stop read them but not only do they remark on the beauty and wisdom; they allow it to change them going forward in life with a new perspective. Too many of us take the little things for granted, some by choice and some who just lose themselves in the monotony of the everyday. We are reminded, when we actually sit and think about the past, of the regrets, the euphoric, dramatic, crushing, painful, instantaneous life-changing, mind-blowing moments; and with hindsight we realize what can happen in just an instant. We realize that maybe, just maybe, those quotes aren't so cliché.

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See Also
More Personal Accounts of Women With HIV/AIDS


Janine Brignola

Janine Brignola

Janine Brignola is a mother, college student, HIV activist and advocate. Janine has spent the years since her diagnosis learning about HIV, the stigma attached to HIV, and how HIV affects the lives of those living with HIV or AIDS in America as well as abroad. After attending her first conference, she decided to dedicate as much of her time and energy as possible to being a part of what she deems the solution. She has done advocacy campaigning both on the local and state level as well as the national level. Janine speaks to educate, both on a freelance basis and with Hope's Voice's "Does HIV Look Like Me" program. She utilizes her YouTube for video blogs and her Facebook for outreach, allowing people to ask any question, which she answers and posts for public commentary in the hope to keep the conversation going. She also started the group HIV and Dating, A Woman's Perspective. Janine has been featured in print and television as well as billboards. She has had blogs featured on the MTV Staying Alive campaign, she is a part of the Nebraska Red Ribbon Group, and she currently sits on the board of directors for the ADAP Advocacy Association. Janine enjoys spending as much time possible just being "mommy" to her son. She believes that it is her privilege and honor to be his mother and to be the activist she has become.

Speaking engagements: Janine Brignola is available to speak to groups. Contact Janine about speaking at your organization or event!

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