Today is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and as a community, I think it is very important that we understand the reason why we have to fight so hard to end the epidemic again HIV/AIDS.
As people of color, we are already fighting against the injustice of racial barriers, which increases the stigma of those living with HIV.
We wanted to share this straight-to-the-point blog by Venita Ray, a woman who has touched many lives. Click the image below to visit her blog.
We hope that you will find the strength to speak out and advocate for yourself, your sisterhood and your community. We want you to know that you are not alone and if you feel that you are in need of support, we are here for you. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org
When I was leaving New York Back in 1991 I was also planning my funeral. I wanted to spend the time I had left enjoying my son. I had been diagnosed with HIV in 1983. Now that was one of the hardest things for me to face- knowing I had to leave him orphaned. No amount of therapy could take that deep hurt from my heart.
So, I learned to cherish every moment I had. Because back then, no one knew what the lifespan was for someone with HIV. I would hear from doctors different things like “you could live another three to five years.” Then another doctor – I remember her telling me the magic number is now “seven years.”
It’s been thirty-two years since my diagnosis and I am still going strong. I am healthy emotionally, physically and spiritually, And, I must say I have become more sassy in my older years. Ironic to say, but I give all the credit to having the big V. Not the best way to change your life, but for me it was, that was my blessing in disguise. I am still learning of life’s endless possibilities. I no longer need to just survive – I can actually have a life.
I had the privilege to help raise my three granddaughters, which for me, there is no greater pleasure in life. I thought being a mother was, but when you are blessed with grandchildren it takes you to a whole other level.
Who knew I would be still here today so eager to make a difference in this life, this is some of what paying it forward means to me.
What are your thoughts? Let us hear from you…
National HIV testing day is tomorrow June 27th and we thought it was the perfect time to remind everyone of the importance of ADVOCACY!
As one LTAI member always says, “Knowledge is power,” and one of the best ways to make a change in someone’s life is through education. We encourage all of our readers to be advocates, whether you are positive, a caregiver, or a provider; you can make a huge impact in your community by promoting HIV/AIDS testing.
Send out a FREE testing reminder designed by the Let’s Talk About It advocates by clicking here: http://letstalk.rwhp.org/ltai-e-cards/
There are many FREE testing sites for your community to take advantage of. Below are some great resources in the Gainesville area for you to share with your family, friends, and community members.
FREE CONFIDENTIAL HIV testing and counseling:
Library Partnership: 11am-3pm
Cone Park Library: 11am-3pm
HealthStreet: 9am-5pm For more info contact HealthStreet at 352-294-4880
Macy’s/Gainesville Oaks Mall: 1pm-8pm Alachua County Health Department HIV program staff & MACY’s MAC AIDS foundation will offer FREE HIV Rapid testing.