March 9, 2016
By Loren Jones, PWN-USA Bay Area Co-Chair, PWN-USA Board Member
Born in 1951, Nilda, a Cancer, entered this world via the Bronx, New York, and began her education, majoring in Life. From New York, she and her sister moved to L.A. in 1976. Then in 1997, Nilda came to the San Francisco Bay Area where she fell in love with “The City.”
Finding sobriety in her mid-thirties helped her to develop self-love, self-determination, and love of life. Her major accomplishments beyond sobriety include being a longstanding member of the Ryan White Part A Collaborative Community Planning Council, serving in many capacities including co-chair from 2012-2015. She is well known as the devoted volunteer coordinator for WORLD (Women Organized to Respond to Life Threatening Diseases). She has also been a consistent help and inspiration in the formation of the Bay Area affiliated chapter of PWN-USA.
Nilda has lived with HIV since 1980. Although the disease was transmitted to her through heterosexual contact, she today feels that she has been well supported and has made many lifelong friends. “HIV can actually bring you out of your shell if you let it. I did what I needed to do, and I don’t let it stop me.”
In October 2015, Nilda was in a devastating auto accident which left her with a severed rotator cuff and in a wheel chair. But good things can and do come out of horrible circumstances. Since October, she has lost over 90 pounds and has been diagnosed diabetes- and hypertension-free after 20 years! SHUT UP!!!!! She has been HIV + for 36 years.
Can you say Survivor!!
Can you say Shero!!!
We expect to have Nilda back home this month, where we know that she will be greeted with much love.
Nilda Rodriguez, on this National Women and Girls HIV Awareness Day, the Bay Area pays tribute to you!!