I thought long and hard about to close this series. I’m not sure that any amount of words could really capture what I have learned over the last month and I don’t think this journey to raise awareness is even near completion. The experience has taught me that letting go of fear sometimes puts you in a remarkable position to help people. Being active in your local community and aware of the issues and causes around the world keeps you in touch with where help is needed…and I never really understood the amount of help truly needed until I let go of my fear in trying to understand the disease.
The goal of this series was to raise awareness through my experiences in learning about the AIDS/HIV virus. I remember growing up and it being a buzz topic, all over the news and media..people were just trying to understand the magnitude of the disease and as I child that couldn’t possibly understand. Time has passed and it’s not something ever really discussed in my circle and by those around me and I started to really wonder, had we forgotten about AIDS?
The stories below capture only some of the stories shared with me. There were many conversations and meetings that I have been asked to leave out of the series due to confidentiality concerns. I respect those wishes and still offer gratitude to all who came forward, it took courage to do so. If ever there is a need or want to reach out again, I encourage that you reach out to me to share your story. In hearing them, I have put to rest a lot of my own misconceptions and in sharing I have done the same for others.
On a personal note, I would like to again thank Lisa Grigsby and her staff at ARC and for the great people sharing things to do in Dayton at Daytonmostmetro.com for allowing me to steer away from my normal column material and work on this series. I will continue to share and connect people to resources on Facebook. Thank you again to all who helped in to spread the word about this series and AIDS.
Are We Awake Yet?
This week I had an opportunity to investigate AIDS “now” on more of a global level. An estimated 40,000 children in South Africa are infected with HIV each year reflecting an impoverished region lacking in both awareness and prevention. 40,000 Children…and the number of premature deaths due to HIV/AIDS has risen significantly over the last decade from 39 percent to 75 percent in 2010 in South Africa. It is estimated there are 1.9 million AIDS orphans where one or both parents are deceased in South Africa and that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is responsible for half of the country’s orphans. Read More
A Love Story
Have you ever considered that many contract the HIV virus on accident, through no fault of their own? It is something I personally never really thought about until recently, that there are people out there who are responsible and take precautions but still can be exposed and infected. Both tragic and somewhat scary to think about, I sat down this week with a person who had that very thing happen. Read More
With cold, clammy hands and a lump in my throat I dialed from the lobby phone at ARC, Dayton OH – “I’m here to be tested.” I’m 32 years old, why was this my first time here? Getting tested for the HIV virus is something I had thought about many times but actually doing it has been something that frightened me and for one reason alone. Doing so would force me to face the reality of some poor decision making and uncover and bring to light, my internal and self confidence issues that ultimately lead to making those decisions. Read More
A Journey Towards Change
Last week I dropped a hint that I had been working on a story and this week I have a little more to tell. This isn’t about dating, my life of chaos or anything most who know me would expect me to write about. What I am about to embark on will challenge me emotionally and force me to face a fear that I admittedly have had for my entire life and am not proud of. Read More
How You Can Help.
Upcoming Fundraising Events