CONFRONTING AIDS in D.C.
where more than 90 percent of women with the disease are black
According to the D.C. Department of Health, women accounted for a third of all newly reported HIV/AIDS cases between 2001 and 2006, with AfricanAmerican women being disproportionately affected.
Most of those women were of child-bearing age, putting their children at risk. The number of women in the District living with AIDS increased by more than 75 percent in that six-year period. The most common form of transmission for women was heterosexual contact.
In the 14 years since she learned she was HIV-positive, Juanita Brown Sims has turned to her faith for support. Sims, 42, shares her poem, "Don't Look at My HIV, You Won't See Me" in the hope of giving support to others who have the virus.
What are you looking at
Are you looking at my HIV
If you is you can't see me.
I'm strong, I'm gifted, I'm lovable but most of all I'm free
Don't look at my HIV you won't see me.
I'm funny, I’'m smart, I'm a mother of three,
I am wise and I dress to a tee.
So don't look at my HIV you won't see me.
I’'m a child of God
I don't have to steal, borrow, beg or rob.
How funny you say you love me
When you always worrying about my HIV.
HIV lives with me but it’s not all of me, you see.
I am blessed by the God that lives within me
He helps me to do my best
So you could put your mind at rest,
And look at me
Not my HIV.
Yes I messed up my life
But I ain't going down without a fight,
I can now sing and dance
Because I'm giving my life a second chance.
I'm somebody who's willing, ready, able and understanding
And I don't mind living out my HIV on this planet
So if you keep looking at my HIV
You going to be so sorry you missed the God in me.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ©2008 Nikki Kahn