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I grew up and currently live on the Swinomish Indian reservation. When I was growing up, I didn’t know much about HIV and AIDS on a real level. Private things like sexuality and illness tended to be kept quiet in our small community of less than 1000 people.
As I became a young adult, I became aware of tribal members living with HIV. People who were marrying and those who are having children while they were HIV positive. And I realized, I had a limited view of this illness and the people living with it. If this illness can occur in my bubble of the world, to regular people like me, then it is important to understand HIV and AIDS. It is essential today in 2014 to empower Americans with knowledge about this disease and hopefully find a cure in this generation.
Greater Than AIDS
Greater Than AIDS is a new movement that responds to the continuing AIDS crisis in the United States. Five ways to be greater than AIDS:
Greater Than AIDS is working with health departments and community organizations across the country. Visit the website greaterthan.org to find ways you can help locally.
Another great way you can help with Greater Than AIDS is getting involved with the Empowered campaign. Join Alicia Keys and Walgreens for a “We Are Empowered” National Watch Party and Discussion on Sunday, January 19 from 8-9 pm EST about women and HIV/AIDS on VH1. “We Are Empowered” is an intimate and revealing half hour conversation Alicia had with five women living with HIV in the U.S. that will inspire and inform.
Get a head start and check out the We are Empowered Discussion Guide.
Sharing and speaking about HIV/AIDS, breaking the stigma, and informing others, we can EMPOWER people and women today.
Do you have a personal story or connection with HIV and AIDS?
Erinn S says
This is such a great topic. There are so many diseases being discussed and AIDS sort of falls short at times for being discussed. Thanks for sharing
I agree, Erinn. I’d love to see the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS gone and this disease really talked about and hopefully eradicated one day!
Notorious Spinks says
I love your five tips. They are right on time with this great initiative.
As a public health student, I often read about the epidemics that plague Indian communities… I look forward to world were everyone is at their healthiest.
Thank you. Yes, for such a small community in our country, Native Americans suffer from many diseases in larger proportion. Though this initiative is focusing on African American women, I do think that it relates to all minority women and people in our country.
Savannah miller says
I think its so important to understand and educate people. To often no one worries about these sort of things until its to late and you HAVE to know.
That is so true, Savannah. Educate today and eradicate tomorrow!
My husband lost his uncle to it. I’m so glad people are still raising awareness and striving to educate people on the subject.
I am too, Maria. It shouldn’t be hushed up, but we need to work towards understanding and a cure!
Lexie Lane says
I think all the programs and the fact that people can live a really long life now with HIV gives people so much hope. My family, who are all in the medical field, tell me about the scary stories all the time, but posts like this can really give someone a peace of mind and hope. Great tips!
Thanks, Lexie. Yes, AIDS/HIV medication has allowed people to live fuller lives now. I can’t wait until the day when a cure works.
Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom says
I haven’t met anyone that I know had HIV/AIDS. Those affected by this disease don’t always look sick, so it’s possible I just wasn’t aware. #client
That is such a great point, Kelly. That is what this campaign is about too – understanding that regular people who look healthy are living with this disease. Empowering women with the facts, and helping women who have it are important!
This is such a great subject to bring more awareness to. I do not have personal experience with HIV, but I do have personal experience with FIV – the feline form of AIDS. It is exactly like HIV, except called FIV since it occurs in cats. Misunderstanding about how it’s transmitted, whether or not it’s contagious through casual contact (it’s obviously not), and how to live with it are all very important topics that people need to be educated on.
I have heard of feline AIDS before Jenn. And yes, I can honestly say I know almost nothing about it. But education is key. It will empower us all. Thanks for coming by!