Black Shame and HIV

Loren 11-16-15 smallby Loren Jones, PWN-USA Board Member, PWN-USA Bay Area Co-Chair
February 5, 2016

Why is it always us?? These are the words that echoed in my head, as I grew through adulthood, watching the news. Why are we always on the dark side, if you will, of the numbers?? We are always seen as poorer, more uneducated, more criminal, sicker, more obese, more drug and alcohol dependent, just well– more black. I had to spend long hours searching through obscure sections of the library reading books that nobody else cares about to discover who we really are. We are really even so much more than the George Washington Carver Elementary School that I first learned in. We are inventors, we are self-taught writers, singers, and poets. I also know now, personally, that our ability to survive both physically and mentally within a society whose institutions were set up to serve anyone but us cannot be challenged. As I get older, even with HIV, I no longer care so much what anyone other than my daughters think of me. I have done my time. I have studied who I am, as part of a race, as an HIV+ woman and as an individual. And I am no longer ashamed.