Love Begins With ME

Maybe it is innate or maybe we just want to think it is. We are always seeking to be loved by someone else when we don’t even love ourselves. Does it make any sense though? I mean, realistically how do we expect someone else to love us when we are merely tolerating our own behaviors?

After searching for many years and NEVER seeming to find anyone that was good enough I realized that it was myself that was not giving enough loving to me and so I decided to change that. To get love you portray love!

I am a positively beautiful creation of love and I aspire to be a giver of raw, natural, untamed love.

Love Positive Women: Romance Starts At Home, is active primarily between February 1st – 14th but I promise to love me all year round by starting from a place of love  within myself.

See more of LPW at: Love Positive Women: Romance Starts At Home



We rural women account for a fourth of the world’s total population.

We are leaders, with continuous advocacy efforts for equity and equality.

We are producers of not just children, but we weed and plough the farm lands and work it effortlessly yielding in the crops and taking home the bread just as any man would. The decline in the contributions of women to agriculture, as a result of their own illness or that of family members, can create a substantial drop in agricultural productivity and in some developing countries, women account for as much as 70 percent of the agricultural labour force and an even higher percentage of food production.

We are entrepreneurs. Innovative thinkers and although we sometimes procrastinate, we also make it happen. We are service providers to everyone that comes in contact with us; and it’s not merely because are women but because we rural women face an awful lot of challenges and are more likely to negotiate our demanded result from a situation with whatever resources we have.

With all our attributes and traits though we face many socio-economic needs and sometimes end up in abusive relationships when we seek to have a man in the house to assist us financially. This sometimes lead to us contracting HIV in our endeavors to be all woman, independent and survivors. HIV/AIDS is still highly stigmatized and many women are ostracized. The effects of HIV/AIDS are not only felt at the household level but have wider repercussions, as well. Thus, help from the extended family and the community, their main safety nets, is often severed.

More households are headed by HIV/AIDS widows than widowers, left with the children to care for as men generally have a ‘don’t care’ attitude in regards to their health, refusing to see the doctor and refusing clinical treatment and care. Often times this leads to poverty as family assets and savings may be completely spent, leaving the surviving family members without means of support.

Access to land and support services that could see these women through the hard times are denied them because of their inferior social and legal status in traditionally patriarchal rural societies.

Our contributions are quite vital to the well-being of families; we are most likely to be the ones with the responsibility of caring for the children, the sick, the elderly and the grown ass men in our lives.

Today as we celebrate rural women internationally, we remind them of their importance to their families by extent communities and country’s economy as this depends on us and assertion of the Sustainable Development Goals is impossible without us.

Increase the availability of treatment and care provision in rural areas. Improve educational and social productivity. Help in preventing the spread of HIV and HIV mortality.


#International Day Of Rural Women- October 15

MY NARRATIVE: Amanda/27. Barbados

So, are you open about your status?

Yes and no.

Could you please explain a bit?

Depends on the circumstance. My policies is don’t ask don’t tell unless it’s necessary.

In that case what name would you like to use for its publication?

You can use my middle name Amanda.

What’s your age? And when did you got infected?

I’m 27, I was diagnosed at 15.

How did you find out, and what was your first reaction?

I cried then, I went crazy. I wanted to kill my boyfriend, then I got depressed and over eat because I thought I was going soon get skinny and die.

What things changed because of HIV?

Some things change for the better because I took my goal more seriously, because I thought I didn’t have much time left and there’s so much I wanted to do. But also I had a lot of setback in terms of finding work and studying because of doctor’s appointments and when meds I was getting sick all the time. And I often neglect myself because it’s hard enough trying to prove yourself as a woman. Much less a woman living with HIV. Even though everyone around doesn’t know, I often feel like I have to make up for having HIV.

Have you faced any stigma and/or discrimination? Can you share a specific experience?

Most of the stigma and discrimination I experienced I was a bystander when people were saying thing about those “aids people” or those “sick people” not knowing I’m one of them. Some people in the social services department view “us” as just sitting around waiting for handouts. The most hurtful is when you get close to someone and you tell them and they run from you, or stop speaking to you, or bathe in Clorox because you touched. Or even worse, you’re in a relationship and your significant other wants you to do things to them sexually (eg. oral sex) but they don’t want to because of “your condition”. I’ve had people saying, medical professionals included, “why would you want to punish yourself and an innocent child by having a baby”.  Then the family members who fuss too much, and then those who don’t care at all, and it seem they trying to kill you faster.

How would you describe yourself?

I’m hardworking person, a student, a business woman, a sister, a daughter, a mom, even though I’ve never given birth. I’m kind loving sharing but at times very guarded and withdrawn because life changes when people know.

How are you engage in the HIV response?

I’ve been in too many support group meetings. I’ve often volunteer at the food bank giving out hampers or hosting at the Christmas parties for people living with HIV. I did massage this year for women living with HIV, and there health care providers free of cost for Valentine’s Day. And visit other women whom I know they’re positive, if they become hospitalized and offer an encouraging word or just stay and keep them accompanied. When I’m working at the hospital I trying my best to get assigned to the patients who are like men make sure they have an extra special day and give them information on how best to talk with their doctors and who to take care of themselves when they come out.

What do you dream of?

I want to have my own preventative healthcare center where people living with HIV get special preference. I dream of one day getting married and having the kids I wanted before this happened. I also dream of the day when the fear associated with HIV is like diabetics it something you don’t want to have because of the end results, but if you do, so what. Deal with it, and move on. I believe that the HIV response should be more focused on living with it and the stigma and discrimination; suicides, violence depression, substance abuse and loneliness.

What would you say about your sexuality?

When I was first diagnosed it went away. For almost a year I felt dirty, like some had raped me again, but this time I gave them permission. But I came back stronger than ever, but I keep it under wraps because regular relationships get complicated after sex. Discontent relationships are even worse. And almost all of the guys I met who are positive, are either gay, bisexual, way older than me, or have serious issues (eg. unemployed, uneducated, no ambitions, crazy jealous and abusive).

How do you see HIV in your country?

I see it as a hustle. For some people some people try to get what they can get in the name of helping us poor people. But the bigger heads aren’t concerned about the individual, once condoms and medicine are selling. Who cares about the physical and emotional torment and ostracism we received because we were diagnosed with something. Funny enough in my country our population is very sexually active, but they pretend like there not, until there’s a problem.

We need to stop being OK

Check out America’s violence dilemma!

We need to stop being OK with men’s violence against women,

89 percent of victims killed by alleged
male perpetrator

Women who kill their intimate partners are usually protecting themselves or their children.

Men who kill, on the other hand are most often motivated by extreme jealousy and possessiveness.

READ the full text

HIV Dilemma

Hello HIV!

Pull up a chair and sit down.

There is something I must say to you;

So listen as I share with you.


HIV you entered into my life because I opened up the doors,

Times past you not only made me sad, you made me mad!

ART you have me on,

Causing my family to stigmatize and scorn me.

Word circulating causing people to discriminate me in my community.


Now I accept that you, HIV, won’t leave

So to you I will cleave.

You almost took my joy away;

But that was then and this is now.


HIV you no longer scare me!

Body fluids I choose not to share.


HIV come celebrate along with me!

On World AIDS Day you make me a celebrity…

Grandma Goodaz! I am well you see.

Fabulous and living MY life to the fullest with you my partner, HIV.

Poetry Piece By Sharon Cooper