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HIV/AIDS Resource Center for Women
Michelle Lopez Alora Gale Precious Jackson Nina Martinez Gracia Violeta Ross Quiroga Loreen Willenberg  
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Up Close & Personal

Find inspiration in these first-person narratives from women living with HIV. In the personal profiles, exclusive columns, video testimonials and blog entries below, you can get firsthand knowledge about dating and sex, substance abuse, motherhood and pregnancy, gender oppression, disclosure, religion, self-esteem, social justice, growing older and much more.

Personal Profiles | Southern AIDS Living Quilt | Bloggers

Personal Profiles

Precious Jackson

Precious Jackson

For years, after she got HIV from her boyfriend during unprotected sex, Precious was angry and ashamed. When she finally sought out the support she needed, her life changed. Her recovery from co-dependency has allowed her to stay above water. Precious is currently in a committed relationship, and as an HIV advocate, she now helps other people adjust to living with HIV and fights for better medical care for HIV-positive African Americans, especially women.

Jane Fowler

Jane Fowler

"Many diseases can't be prevented. But HIV can," says Jane Fowler. In the 20-plus years since she was diagnosed with HIV at age 55, awareness of the unique impact of HIV on older adults has grown considerably -- and the community has Jane to thank, in part, for that awareness. But her true passion lies in HIV prevention education. A renowned speaker and advocate for people, especially women, who are over 50 and living with HIV, she's been scandalizing teenagers since the mid-1990s with the information that, yes, their parents and grandparents do have sex, and need to know more about HIV.

Lisa Tiger

Lisa Tiger

Lisa, a member of the Muscogee Nation, has experienced hardship in her life. Her father died when she was 2 , her brother and an adopted daughter were both murdered and her ex-boyfriend died from alcoholism. In addition to living with AIDS, she is also living with Parkinson's disease. Lisa, who was diagnosed in 1992, discusses why she became an HIV advocate, how exercise is her savior and the issues that Native Americans face that make them vulnerable to contracting HIV.

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Southern AIDS Living Quilt

Southern AIDS Living quilt

The Southern AIDS Living Quilt is a project that illustrates the growing impact of HIV on women in the southern U.S., particularly women of color. Using video testimonials, the Living Quilt shares the personal stories of women living with HIV, their families and health care providers throughout the region. The stories underscore the critical importance of making HIV screening a routine part of medical care in order to ensure earlier diagnosis and prevent the spread of the disease.

Watch the videos


Maria T. Mejia

Maria T. Mejia: Time to Show My Face and Take the Stigma Away

When Maria was diagnosed with HIV at 18, her mother said, "You will not die from this, but you will tell the family you have another disease." Now, after years of silence, this Miami resident is more than ready to open up to the world about living with HIV.

Brooke T. Davidoff

Brooke Davidoff: Voice of ONE

Brooke was diagnosed HIV positive in January 2010 -- two months married and 11 weeks pregnant with her first baby -- and has already begun to educate others about HIV.

Read more

More From This Resource Center

Newly Diagnosed? Words of Encouragement from HIV-Positive Women

What Every HIV-Positive Woman Should Know About GYN Care and Prevention


Reader Comments:

Comment by: RubyFruit ( Tue., Nov. 25, 2014 at 9:41 pm UTC
as a gay woman how can I date other women? This stigma is so wearing me down. I have been an HIV advocate back in 02, but now being stuck in Georgia with no car or transportation is very hard. And yes I have tried the rip-off HIV dating sites( not spending any money on that!) I educate the women I meet and if they don't run away, or get violent,and nasty on some chat sites ...I just don't know what to do any more. I am 58 and will NOT believe that I will no longer have a relationship...HELP!!! please!
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Comment by: HAGGAR (Douglasville,Ga) Thu., Mar. 20, 2014 at 3:51 pm UTC
I am feeling lost and very alone.. I feel like I am the only lesbian in the whole world who did not get HIV from needles,rough sex with was rape. And trying to find another women to be with is next to impossible.. I just fell so damn sad..
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Comment by: sara (duncan ok) Wed., May. 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm UTC
I am hiv postive
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Comment by: DEBORA (JOHANNESBURG) Tue., Oct. 4, 2011 at 2:26 am UTC
I've been diagnosed or got married with hiv in 2003 since then iv never looked back, i live my life 2 the fullest. Im living healthy and openly with my hiv i even call it my husband
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Comment by: Barbara (Newyork) Fri., Aug. 12, 2011 at 12:23 pm UTC
sisters you empowered me. i was diagnosed in january 1996 and it took me 14years to tell my children. which was a huge mistake my children were extremely angry with me and acted that hated me for months.but since I feel so free and i know that Gods has a greater plan for im a peer mentor in a clinic everything does happen for a now i want to empower women everywhere i want everyone to know they can live and be fabulous. says me
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See Also
Newly Diagnosed? Words of Encouragement from HIV-Positive Women
What Did You Expect While You Were Expecting?
HIV Tools You Can Use