#PWNSpeaks (Went, Broke Down and Then Got Uplifted)

What an amazing opportunity I was given again by my baby The Well Project (A Girl Like Me)! It was so wonderful to be able to share with 200 HIV positive women from all over the U.S. In the 25 years that I have been living with HIV I never even dreamed that I would be in the same space with so many inspirational positive women. I was able to do something I really never do for myself and that is to vent with another human being about my HIV and women's issues, besides my wife Lisa and my mother. <3

It was so incredible and I am so grateful to The Well Project for always making things happen for us and always thinking about their bloggers! That is why I will always be thankful to The Well Project and especially Krista and my sister bloggers!

I cried, I broke down! I spoke about many things I have kept inside and felt understood. My wife is always there for me and so is my mother, but they do not have the condition of HIV!!! It is important as women to have spaces where we can share and uplift each other! It is not about who has done what! It is about how can I uplift you and inspire you to do better and get inspired to be better.

I was given the opportunity to speak in a wonderful panel for The Well Project about social media and treatment advocacy, which to me is something so important for all of us women and girls living with the virus. I also was invited to share my experience with the campaign I am a part of with the CDC, Let's Stop HIV Together, with my wife.

I left light as a feather and I needed this badly! To be heard. I am usually the one always listening to the whole world and their issues and problems ... this time I listened, because this is part of who I am, but I also felt heard by my sisters!

I got to bond in many special ways with women I already knew, and met many, many wonderful and powerful women that I know through my social media networks, but did not know in person.

If there is one or two things I would add to this wonderful conference, it would be to speak a little bit more on Latino issues in the south because we are many and we have no spaces! We need to motivate ... I need to motivate my Latina sisters to come to these conferences! But I understand that as a culture Latina women are very much in the HIV closet. I want them to know about these summits and that is exactly what I plan to do.

Before I promote the event to more Latinas and tell them how awesome this summit was, I would like to make sure that they are going to feel a part of ... and hopefully have panels about our issues. The second thing I would humbly ask and add is that we need a Lesbian panel! WE EXIST and just like trans women we want to be acknowledged!!! Hopefully the next time I attend this event I will see that in panels and workshops. <3

All in all it was a lot to take in, it was beautiful and powerful and I will never forget this experience.

I was so blessed to LIVE TO SEE THIS <3

NO MORE SHAME!!! NO MORE SHAME!! NO MORE SHAME!!!

Love and Light
Maria Mejia