Office on Women's Health Blog
HIV and AIDS
I am not HIV-positive. But I care. In fact, I think it is vitally important for all of us to care about the well-being of those that are living with HIV/AIDS. After all, we care about people with cancer. We care about people with Alzheimer's and diabetes. But a stigma remains when it comes to HIV and AIDS.
Today, the Office of National AIDS Policy, Office of the Vice President, and the White House Council on Women and Girls commemorate the 10th observance of National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Along with other federal, national, and community organizations and advocates, today we celebrate our accomplishments to date in improving the lives of women and girls affected by HIV and recognize the work still ahead.
Today, about 1 in 4 people living with HIV in the United States are women. Each woman touched by HIV/AIDS needs our support and our understanding. They need family, friends, and treatment. And they need us to listen to their stories.
I don't think anything can prepare you for the moment when they unveil the piece of paper that contains your fate. Even though the odds seemed to be against me, I was not prepared to be told I had HIV. Turns out, the doctor had worse news: It was actually an AIDS diagnosis and the doctor gave me 3 to 6 months to live.
It takes courage to share a personal story, but they often are the most powerful. They inspire us, stick with us, and change the way we think about the world. Personal stories also remind us that we are not alone.