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Women Living With HIV Break Their Silence on HIV and Me Talk Radio, the First 'On Demand' Radio Program Dedicated to HIV/AIDS
Article Editor: Christopher Simmons
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - November 30, 2004 /Send2Press Newswire/ -- Two women who have been living with HIV/AIDS speak candidly on the HIV/AIDS Radio Network about how their lives have been affected by this disease. "These guests shatter many of the misconceptions people have about HIV and AIDS being a disease that affects gay men and intravenous drugs users. Neither of these women fit the perceived traditional profile and both demonstrate why HIV/AIDS needs to concern us all," reports Aldagon Resources' Timothy Critzer, host and co-creator of the program.
In rare interviews, both guests walk HIV and Me Talk Radio listeners through the many profound ways in which this disease has impacted their lives and the lives of their families. They each give emotional and deeply insightful testimony about how even churchgoing, married and monogamous women can become infected with the virus. Moreover, they reveal a rare close up of what it's like for a woman to discover that she has HIV, to carry the burden of dealing with family and friends, and to struggle to find a way to keep living with HIV in her life.
"I remember one lady had been HIV-positive for almost 5 years and had not told her children. I worked with her almost everyday for three months straight, just pouring into her 'till she was finally able to tell her family, tell her children, tell her sister. That's what this work is all about. Yes, I'm HIV-positive, but I'm not dead," said Paulette Hogan, a HIV-positive African American mother of two.
It is difficult to fully grasp the unique ways that HIV and AIDS impact women. This challenge is amplified by the fact that women have traditionally been less inclined to speak publicly about being HIV-positive, leading to severe isolation for many and a general lack of public understanding about the issues women face and how they are dealing with them.
"I was your basic middle class white girl from the south.... I thought that I was the only woman in the world (with HIV) at the time. Of course I was certainly wrong, but it's all I knew ... it was a gay white men's disease and this just wasn't possible," said Dawn Averitt Bridge, CEO of The Well Project, diagnosed HIV-positive at age 19.
The HIV/AIDS Radio Network gave voice to these two women in hopes of helping other women to know that they are not alone and to help them discover how other women are living well with HIV and AIDS.
HIV and Me Talk Radio is the first "on demand" radio program dedicated to airing the voices of HIV and AIDS from around the world. The HIV/AIDS Radio Network's pilot program presents a 13-part series on Women, Girls, HIV and AIDS in recognition of this year's World AIDS Day theme.
The program spanned the globe to speak with leading organizations, activists, policy makers, researchers, and, most importantly, women living with HIV and AIDS. Initial guests include Deputy Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Dr. Kathleen Cravero; President George Bush's AIDS Czar, Ambassador Randall Tobias; Executive Director of the National Association of People With AIDS (NAPWA), Terje Anderson, along with guests from the World Health Organization, SIECUS and amfAR, the AIDS organization founded by Elizabeth Taylor. The highlight of the series is two rare and insightful interviews with women living with HIV.
The program is hosted by Timothy Critzer, HIV-positive author, columnist, talk show host and activist; and is produced by Errol Smith, an Emmy-winning television reporter and broadcaster in Los Angeles. A new interview is recorded weekly and added to this "on demand" web site at www.hivradio.com, as well as nanocasted through a network of affiliate web sites.
The program is privately funded by Aldagon Resources and Jackstreet Media and is part of the HIV and Me Educational Series (www.hivandme.com).
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