The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

Body Positive Book Reading Club

May 2001

body positive book club

Voices from Within:
An Anthology of Prisoners' Expressions on HIV & AIDS

Edited by Anthony Rozzell and Larry Wilson, with Associate Editors Charles Ridgway, Charles White, Larry Vaughan, and Gill Brown
Published by the HIV/AIDS Awareness Program of the Oregon State Penitentiary

The HIV/AIDS Awareness Program (HAAP) released its first book, Voices from Within, on World AIDS Day (December 1) 2000. The book is a collection of short stories, poems, essays, and art by prisoners who felt compelled to let out the voice from within themselves and express their personal feelings and experiences surrounding the HIV and AIDS epidemic. HAAP also publishes a bimonthly newsletter, Awareness News.

HAAP is based on the belief that members of groups who perceive themselves as being isolated are best taught by individuals from within that group. It takes devoted individuals, with a lot of strength, to build enough trust and credibility with a difficult prison population to present this kind of information.

HAAP is a non-profit organization at the Oregon State Penitentiary. We are unique to the Oregon Department of Corrections, and have come a long way in empowering our fellow prisoners to learn how to protect themselves against HIV, hepatitis C, and other communicable diseases.

Only through awareness provided by education can we work towards reducing the high rate of infection and enable prisoners, when released, to carry our message of prevention back to their respective communities.

About Voices from Within

We are all different shapes and sizes; we make up all the different races and colors of people. We are emotional, physical, spiritual, and have some measure of mental capability. We bleed, we cry, we laugh, and someday we will follow those who have preceded us to a better place. We need water, food, and air to remain alive or exist. We love, we hate, and we struggle sometimes to find the line that separates the two. We are human! The only thing that separates us from the rest of humanity are the choices we have made or were accused of.

We are Voices from Within the maximum-security walls of the Oregon State Penitentiary and other correctional facilities across the nation.

We are confined, physically, but free to speak out and let our voices be heard on the AIDS epidemic. Our personal thoughts, opinions, and views on HIV and AIDS have been transformed by ways of art, essays, music, poetry, and short stories. Because we share in the saga, and are a higher risk group, our voices need to be heard. We ask that you take the time to listen, understand, and feel our joy, and pain, and understand that just as HIV and AIDS affect every one of us (directly or indirectly), we can all share in the comfort and healing of one another, across every land, every sea, and every sky.

I challenge all who may read this to let the Voices from Within out, and help end the silence.

-- by Anthony Rozzell

To order Voices from Within, please send a donation of $10 or more (cashier's check or money order only please) payable to: Central Trust Account in care of HAAP #2431.

Please send orders requesting books and payment (as well as any other correspondence) to: Karen Campbell, Staff Advisor, 2605 State Street, Salem, Oregon 97301.
Illustration by Scott Teague from 'Voices from Within'

Back to the May 2001 Issue of Body Positive Magazine.

  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

This article was provided by Body Positive. It is a part of the publication Body Positive.
See Also
More Personal Accounts and Profiles of Prisoners With HIV/AIDS