Today is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and the theme is “The Best Defense Is a Good Offense.”
The best defense is to engage in radical self-acceptance and self-care. The National AIDS Memorial Grove exemplifies a critical aspect of healing; it is a place with exquisite natural beauty, located in the epicenter of the US epidemic; it honors our community, our past, our present; and it is a place to hold and tell our stories.
As women with HIV, our stories need to be told and it takes courage to be honest, authentic, and tell the truth—to give voice to our existence and our resilience, to let go of shame and self-hate, and to honor our struggles and our joy.
The best defense is honesty, integrity, self-love, and self-expression. The best defense is showing up being ourselves and refusing to hide or be ashamed. The best defense is to be loud and proud and own that we are people living with HIV – survivors, angels, kings, and queens. The best defense is to suck every bit of joy out of this life and use it to plant ideas (and trees) weed out negativity (and invasive plants) and to fertilize our bright shiny selves with nature, community, and truth.
March 10, 2017