Let's Talk About It, Fight Against HIV & Aids
GAINESVILLE – World Aids Day takes place in December and a number of people in North Central Florida are joining arms in the fight against HIV. Some women are giving the issue a voice by literally "talking about it."
Brenda Cook says she's not dying of HIV, she's living with it. "It's a part of who I am," she adds. Cook went through some tough times, she was even homeless at some point. "I am recovering addict, I thought I was ten foot tall and bulletproof… That it would never be me," Cook said.
And she's not alone according to the Florida Department of Health 23% of women in the state have been diagnosed with HIV. Cook however has been able to turn her life around, she's even started her own business, "Independent Research of Gainesville."
All with the moral support groups like the Rural Women's Health Project. "Maybe just maybe if I am open and honest and speak about it, then other people will feel that they can. That they don't have to be afraid either," Cook said.
RWHP is the driving force behind "Let's Talk About It" a local magazine produced by women like Cook who want to speak up and raise awareness. 15 local women helped make this magazine come to life.
Natalie Davis also living with HIV said, "I found out there were so many different women and it offered so much to me, you know? I was able to find who I am, I was able to live again, I was able to breathe again. And I was able to face that this is reality, that this is my life."
"Let’s Talk About It" was showcased earlier this month at the Florida Museum of Natural History as part of their World Aids Day event. "We have issues of we want to be a mom, raising our children. You know there's just so many different things that females have to deal with in general that are different and HIV multiplies those," Cook said.
The women say they identify themselves with butterflies, as they too have gone through a tremendous transformation. "And the quote that I love to say is love yourself. Do not allow anyone to put you in a boundary. Do not allow anyone to put bondage on you because you were diagnosed with a disease. Just because you were diagnosed with it that doesn't mean it's the end of your life."
Despite being infected these women tell me they are trying to affect those around them in a positive way. If you would like a copy of the magazine, click here or call: 352-372-1095.
- National HIV/AIDS Testing Day
- Men charged with planned attack against police let go
- Santa and Mrs. Claus Talk About Newberry's Festival of Lights
- Ocala City Manager Talks about Ocala's Future
- Duck Dynasty's Miss Kay Talks Faith, Family & Food
- One Family's Fight Against AvMed Continues
- One Family's Fight Against AvMed Part 2
- One Family's Fight Against AvMed
- Team Hulk Smash assembles for Riley's fight against cancer
- Video of Beyonce's Family Fighting, Stirs Conversation About Domestic Violence