10 Jun “Why I became an HIV Activist”
As a writer, it’s easy to get lost behind the words, the computer screen, or the social media profiles connecting with people only through the World Wide Web. While this is truly a comfortable place to be, I found that more people wanted to connect with me personally- beyond a brief encounter at a book signing. My inboxes overtime presented various questions followed by invitations to speak at events, join panels, or mentor teens. My audience was now captive and I suppose that was always part of the plan. Yet I needed to give them more than words of encouragement, guidance, or a listening ear. At that time, I didn’t think I could have offered more along that line anyway because you see I’m far from an expert on relationships, parenting, or life. I simply speak to the heart of situations based on my own sometimes tumultuous life experiences. The restlessness of needing to give my audience more had become a thorn in my side. I have learned that when you are charged with a task greater than yourself, there is no peace until you answer the call; thus the beginning of my HIV/AIDS activism. I am able to share with WOMEN who have enjoyed reading and listening to me information about a disease that affects them greatly. I am able to engage WOMEN in a discussion that is rarely had due to stigma, shame, and lack of education. I am able to get WOMEN to reconsider the behaviors they partake, spend some to time to self reflect, and ultimately unload the baggage- with the end goal of no new infections.
I am an HIV/AIDS Activist because HER LIFE/YOUR LIFE MATTERS!