November 30, 2016
by Monique Howell, PWN-USA South Carolina Member
December 1 is World AIDS Day. What does it mean to you?
To me, it means so much then just one definition alone. The many who have paved the way who have died or are still alive give me hope that the impossible can be turned around for what is possible! We have fought so hard for this day and are still fighting.
World AIDS Day is every day for me, because, living with HIV, I know this fight is far from over. Each day I awake in the morning, I know that I must continue to strive to get things done in hopes that a change and difference are made in the lives of so many. World AIDS Day means to me fighting for the true causes at hand, the real issues that are happening all across our country, like HIV criminalization just to name one example; of course there are so, so many.
This movement to me means fighting to help change the way our justice system operates, so that many of us who live with HIV/AIDS can live without fear. Having avenues to discuss disclosure and proper ways of disclosing. Educating about HIV criminalization and sharing testimonials. World AIDS Day to me means just continuing to fight and allow my voice to be heard, so that others like myself can live in peace, hope, dignity, love and feel FREE, free to be themselves and embrace who they truly are!! Social media, news, etc., have things set up of how they “think” we should live; but we who live this life, or were even born with this condition, and fight daily, should have every right to stand up for what we truly believe and not allow others to dictate who we are. We should be free just to be FREE!!
We fought for World AIDS Day, we fought for different campaigns and movements and we will continue to fight, not just on December 1!!! There are many powerful, beautiful and handsome faces of individuals living with HIV/AIDS. It’s time to stop sweeping this issue under the rug and make change happen without being afraid to do so! 365 days a year we have the power within ourselves and within our communities to come together and speak for what is right and fair! We wear our red ribbon in love and hope for one another; we all embrace each other with so much strength!!! Red to me means LOVE, the love that sits within our hearts.
We remember so many who have lost their lives on this day, and we cherish others who are still alive to see another December 1. Let’s all of us know that we are victorious and true warriors with a determination that goes beyond the horizon!! We haven’t given up yet and won’t give up! The media gives us December, but for true warriors, every day is World AIDS Day, because the work needs to be done and change needs to take place. Many campaigns has been established and coordinated throughout the year; we will continue to do many things . We override what the world may say, because there is so much strength in numbers. Together we stand as one!
Blessings to us all as we continue to fight!