Featured

My Views on HIV Criminalization

There are three problems with this. Firstly, HIV experts from around the world concluded that HIV criminalization does nothing to stop the spreading of the virus; instead, these type of laws actually undermine the public health goal of promoting HIV screening and treatment.

If this law should be implemented in Jamaica, people will be even more afraid of knowing their status by implying that sexually active HIV positive people can go to prison if the virus has been transmitted to another.

Secondly, the laws are unjust and counterproductive, stigma and discrimination already surrounds HIV so turning every sexual encounter by positive individuals into a possible criminal act will only add to more shame and stigmatization.

Thirdly, most irritant (to my mind), the laws are simply bad science; most have not been updated since the early 90’s and thus reflect an almost laughable misunderstanding of the virus.

Sex always entails some level of risk. A risk we all are responsible for protecting ourselves against. In a perfect world, the disclosure discussion would precede every sexual encounter, but this isn’t a perfect world.

We will not make it better by locking away people under obsolete law rooted in uncontrollable emotion hysteria, negative attitude and feelings towards homosexuality and junk science.

By: JCW+ Participant

Advertisements

My experience after disclosing my positive status

Learning that you are HIV positive can be one of the most difficult experience you go through in life.  You may feel scared, sad or even angry, but this is OK and a completely natural part of coping with something that can be life changing.

Living with HIV changes the way I look and think about life.

My husband was the one who got the call for us both to visit the Comprehensive Health Centre located in Kingston for our blood results, after such disclosure that we both HIV positive, we couldn’t anything else but to console each other. My husband did take responsibly of contracting the virus and passing it on to me unintentionally.

Due to the distance of the treatment site we got diagnose to the distance of our home town, we asked for a referral to a much closer site where we can access treatment.

After disclosing to my family which includes my father and two sisters, my father banned me from his house. My sister then spoke to him about the ways of HIV transmission so he came around to some extent behaviour wise but still insisted that the family must not use the same fork, spoon, cups and plate that I use.

Currently, my mother and my brother became aware of my husband and I status and they are more supportive, they encourage me to stick to my treatment and to do research about HIV treatments and side effects. Also my two younger sisters have been quite supportive, as from time to time they would remind us to take our medication.

In Jamaica we say “when it rains it pours” and in this instance it’s true. My second trauma comes when the doctor inform me that I have cancer cells in my ovaries. Also I am diabetic, hypertensive and only have one kidney.

I am thankful of my good support system as there are days when I broke down real bad and If I didn’t have the support of my family, my church family and health care family, I wouldn’t be alive today.

 

Ms. Jovial – JCW+ Participant

Reflection and Appreciation

The AIDS pandemic was and some would argue still remains the greatest global health crisis of modern history. While other epidemics were just as widespread and deadly (among them tuberculosis and malaria), the mounting waves of death caused by AIDS was simply unprecedented.

The fact that we had never seen disease like this and couldn’t identify a way to stop it only added to the growing sense of panic among both the public and policy makers alike.

For all of the fear and anger the disease caused, HIV transformed the very landscape of science and politics as we know it. It moved the medical profession from its patriarchal roots to one which advocated for the rights and protections of patients. It forced the fast-tracking of the drug approvals process while spurring researchers to develop many of the genetic and biomedical tools we take for granted today.

The simple fact that HIV has gone from being an almost uniformly fatal disease to one for which people can now live healthy, normal lives is nothing short of astonishing. Still, we have a long way to go and many lessons to learn before we can consider the crisis over.

It is only by looking back that we can better understand the challenges yet to be faced as we move toward making HIV a thing of the past.

Dance. Smile. Giggle. Marvel. TRUST. HOPE. LOVE. WISH. BELIEVE. Most of all, enjoy every moment of the journey, and appreciate where you are at this moment instead of always focusing on how far you have to go.

 

MZ Confident

Wale Justice

JUSTICE! Justice for one! Justice for all! Why do we make them slap we, kick we, abuse we.

Me sidung pan de corner a hold a meds; All of a sudden! me see a dread pull a dauta out of a corner, him kick her, him box her, him punch her, she drops and hit her lip with tears running down her cheek, I said,” oh my gosh! What a clash! The woman was defenseless, how could this be?”

Tears running from my eyes, my heart full with pain, just to see another woman in pain. What a lost; just to see a woman lose her dignity through violence and weakness. How can a man say he loves you, when he is killing you with his punches and grudges, as if you are a ball?

Woman get up! Stand up from your fall!

JCW+ Participant

Dear Mr. Abuser

This is your victim speaking, listen and listen good! You took my voice, you took my peace of mind, you took my trust that I had for men away from me, you took my heart and tore it into pieces!

I cried for you to stop but you did not Listen to me! You ignored me! I hated myself, I blamed myself.  I thought that I made this happened to me, I thought I was responsible for all that had happened.

People blamed me and I felt ashamed but no more will I be broken! No more will I hold my head down in shame of what you did to me! No more will I take the blame for you! I am taking back my voice!

It’s time we stand for our rights and the rights of our children who are being abuse, they are blamed for the abuse and the perpetrators are left free and blameless to take away the voices of other young persons.

Let’s stand for what is right! we will no more be silent!

JCW+ Participant