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Journey Home

It August 20, 2008, after returning from Mexico there is so much memories and good lessons learn at the IAC that I would not rest until I am personally able to do work for women living with the virus.

My cousin died last November after living for 12 years knowing that she was infectd and leaving 3 children behind. Why did she do that I always asked myself. At this conference I realise that infected women still have all the desires like a normal human being and still want to live normal lives. Do we as unifected persons give them the chance or even the space to do so? No! We seldom do so, if we do at all. Even though I felt that more emphasis should have been placed on women at the conference I think it should start with me to make that possible. What I do at home to start making the difference.

I never knowingly stigmatized or discriminated against anybody with HIV/AIDS but I never allowed them to have their spaces, thinking, once you are infected your sexuality should be dead I suppose. What a thing to do within your heart. Today its a change of heart veiwing for me.

As I return to my country within the next 3 weeks I would be working with women in my community who are positive to have a very positive out look on life, have normal lives, live very normal and participate at all level of the YWCA Decision making activities when it comes to HIV/AIDS events. It is a must to include them since they are the ones to teach me and help me do things that would be effective for them.

I do hope that I can connect to anyone that send comment so tegether we can really make a difference in these women lives.


Jennifer Ruwart's picture


Hello, my dear friend! I am back home in Portland, missing all my new friends from the conference.

Glynis, did you peek into my heart and see what was there? Your strong post resonates deep within me.

I remember on Thursday of the conference having this is incredible realization that most of the women I had been meeting all week - that had been loving, hugging and holding Jonah - were positive. I'd never really known anyone positive before I met Leah (with me in my profile picture and who you met at the conference). Now I know dozens of women and men who are positive and they vibrant, beautiful, sassy, intelligent, warm, humorous sensual AND sexual people.

Let's remove the stigma of HIV and AIDS together. What did you tell me at the conference? It is an US thing, not a THEM thing.

About the video we did together! I have a volunteer who is working with the video to create something beautiful and compelling from your story. I'll keep informed as we move forward with it. I will also send you the raw footage, so you can use it as well. It was my first time as documentary film maker! Ha ha!

All my love,

p.s. You can see my pics from the conference here:

Lisa's picture

Growing and Journeys Ahead

As we grow, I think it is important to remember the turning points of when and how our ideas and ways of living have changed. Many years ago, I lived in Chicago. The big city exposed me to so many new people. For a time there, I worked with an organization to help sort and package groceries for HIV positive people in need. Before then I had never met anyone living with HIV/AIDS. The media had only exposed me to images of those sick and dying. Since the organization was just a couple of blocks from my apartment, it really opened my eyes to the faces of people living with AIDS in my community.

Have you seen Violetta's post about a new video that raises the question of how early should we start talking to our children about HIV/AIDS? You can read it here:

Please keep us updated about your work ahead! I was able to see the interview you did with Jennifer at the IAC. You are such a strong and visionary woman. I can't wait until the video is online!

Shwe Zin's picture

Greeting from Mae Sot, Thailand

Hi all, I am very impressed by all of you. I am a new member from Thailand, working for Social Action for Women(SAW)-the organization was one of the winner of Reb Ribbon Award 2008 together with other 25 orgs. SAW is based in Mae Sot, to help displaced Burmese women and children along the Thailand-Burma border.Two of our representatives who have legal status attended the IAC and may be you met with them. They are Dr. Win Myint Than and Ms. Ye Mon Htun.
I wish to meet with you all in person in the future.
Have a look at our website at but it is just starting.

Looking forward to seeing and reading your posts.

With love,
Shwe Zin

alonzonestor's picture

Thank you so much for the

Thank you so much for the positive comments as we work together to help positive persons still feel wanted.

Wendy's picture

Thanks for sharing your

Thanks for sharing your experience with your cousin. I can only imagine how horrifying it is to lose somebody close to your from AIDS. Your unfortunate loss helps the rest of us to better understand, and develop a "change of heart viewing."

Most of us discriminate, including myself, at times without even knowing it. Bringing it to the table is one of the most beneficial ways to create change, around this rather sticky issue!

Helping women to have normal joyful lives, for however long they are here is my goal too. I am grateful I can learn from your work!


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