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I did not wear the red ribbon on World AIDS Day

English below

Confieso que no usé el lazo rojo el Día Mundial del SIDA

Muchas personas me preguntaron cuáles fueron mis actividades para el Día Mundial del SIDA. No tuve una agenda pública pero sí una importante para mí.

No tuve entrevistas en televisión pero sí una entrevista con Dios, donde reafirmé con Él mi compromiso de seguir luchando para detener la enfermedad y la muerte causadas por el VIH y el sida.

No viajé hasta la India como la actriz Ashley Jude tratando de salvar a una persona con VIH que hubiera conocido ese día, en vez de eso, recordé con detalle cómo varios de mis amigos en Bolivia y en el mundo murieron antes que hubieran los medicamentos y cómo estuve con ellos tanto tiempo que cuando murieron a la vez que fue un alivio su partida representó una gran tristeza.

No repartí condones por las calles pero hablé como todos los días acerca de la responsabilidad de las personas de no consumir alcohol y practicar relaciones sexuales al mismo tiempo.

No hice grandes pronunciamientos sobre la situación de las mujeres y las niñas, pero me quedé en mi cama reflexionando acerca de lo difícil que es ser una mujer diferente en un mundo machista.

No hice un anuncio público sobre las conexiones entre el VIH y la violencia contra las mujeres, en vez de eso, una vez más recordé cómo sobreviví a una violación a manos de 2 hombres y reafirmé mi decisión de perdonarles.

No participé de un debate acerca de cómo está la epidemia en África y del riesgo de convertirnos en “pequeñas áfricas” en América Latina, pero más bien recordé todo lo aprendido de las personas con VIH y de los movimientos sociales de África.

No recibí un premio por haber trabajado en la temática del VIH o por haber donado muchísimo dinero, porque mi galardón está en los cielos.

No utilicé ese día para hablar con la gente desesperadamente sobre el VIH, porque de hecho hago eso todos los días. El 1º de Diciembre más bien decidí estar con mi familia porque son ellos quienes me cuidan cuando estoy enferma.

El 1º de Diciembre mi agenda estuvo llena de actividades con mis parientes, momentos de descanso y paradas tan solo para contemplar la belleza de las flores y agradecer por estar viva, de recordar a los amigos que se fueron, más que de inmensas campañas en las calles.

Confieso que el Día Mundial del SIDA no utilicé el lazo rojo porque llevo el VIH en el corazón y en la sangre todos los días del año.

Diario de Confesiones de una activista viviendo con VIH en Bolivia.
Gracia Violeta Ross

I confess I did not wear the Red Ribbon on World AIDS Day

Many people asked me what were my activities for World AIDS Day. I did not have a public agenda but an important one for me.

I did not have interviews on TV channels but I had an interview with God, in which I reaffirmed my commitment with Him to keep fighting to stop the deaths caused by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

I did not travel to India as the actress Ashley Jude, trying to save a person living with HIV that I just met that day, instead of that, I remembered with details how many of my friends in Bolivia and across the world died before there was ARV treatment, and how I was with them for so long that when they died their deaths represented a relief as well as moments of deep sadness.

I did not distribute condoms on the streets but I spoke as I do every day about the responsibility people have not to drink alcohol and practice sex at the same time.

I did not make big statements about the situation of women and girls but I stayed on my bed thinking of how difficult is to be a different woman in a machist world.

I did not make a public announcement about the connections between HIV and violence against women, instead of that, once again I remembered how I survived rape in the hands of 2 men and I reaffirmed my decision to forgive them.

I did not participate in a debate about the epidemic in Africa and the risk of having “little Africas” in Latin America, rather I remembered everything I have learned from people living with HIV and social movements from Africa.

I did not receive a recognition for my work on HIV or for my huge donations of money, because my reward is on heaven.

I did not use that day to desperately speak about HIV with people, because in fact that is what I do every day. On December 1st I rather decided to stay with my family because they are the ones who really take care of me when I am ill.

On December 1st my agenda was full of activities with my relatives, moments of refreshment and stops to observe the beauty of flowers and to give thanks for being alive, moments to remember friends who have passed away, more than huge awareness campaigns on the streets.

I confess on World AIDS Day I did not wear the red ribbon because I carry HIV on my heart and blood every day of the year.

From the Journal of Confessions of an AIDS activist living with HIV in Bolivia

Gracia Violeta Ross


Goldie Davich's picture


You touched my heart. This confession is intimate and powerful. Thank you.

Goldie Davich, PulseWire Online Intern

Corine Milano's picture

Gracia, thank you for

Gracia, thank you for sharing this with the community.

On December 1st my agenda was full of activities with my relatives, moments of refreshment and stops to observe the beauty of flowers and to give thanks for being alive, moments to remember friends who have passed away, more than huge awareness campaigns on the streets.

This is exactly what World AIDS Day should be. A time to do what we need to do to honor ourselves and those we have lost, whether that is public activist campaigns, or personal reflection. That is activism in my book.

Thank you again.

Corine Milano, Assistant Editor

--"We will surely get to our destination if we join hands."
Aung San Suu Kyi --

Maria Jett's picture

I love the "confessional" format.

Your post offers such a touching and powerful mix of honesty and strength, Gracia. Thank you for sharing it here.

Maria Jett, Online Community Director

acdadesky's picture

Thank you for posting here.

Querida Violeta,

Gracias por las palabras. Thank you for posting this here on PulseWire. I know when I saw this on our Athena e-list that there were so many people and especially women who would want to read what you have to say. I can't wait to read more, and work with you here on PulseWire.


Anne-christine d'Adesky
Director of Global Advocacy
3345 22nd street,
San Francisco, CA 94110

Mobilizing Women and Girls to Fight HIV/AIDS

Jensine's picture


Querida Gracia -
This piece is one of the most moving I have read in a long time. You have a gift with words, Gracia. I too can't wait to hear more from you and your inspiring and bold heart!

Jensine Larsen, Founder
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