I wanted to ask you a favour for this Christmas season. As a woman living with HIV for 17 years I am grateful to live. I look at the future positively. Only sometimes I fall back when I experience stigma with health care providers or when I hear that in some places pregnant women have no access to HIV medication for themselves and their yet to be born children.
It hurts to hear that in so many places there are still pregnant women who do not have access to life saving medication. We should no longer have children born with HIV. So last week when I organized a Meet & Greet at the pink statue of the Crying Woman here in Amersfoort, my purpose was to get an impression how people were touched by the message behind the statue and to hear their thoughts on issues such as access to medication for all, especially pregnant women.
The understanding of the people I met and their support for the issues I raised, especially fighting for universal HIV medication access for pregnant women, was overwhelming. So I asked people to help spread my messages. Some even wrote and shared their own messages:
I am very grateful for the support I received that day. It shows that people finally understand how hard it is to live without having access to medication and fear that your baby risks to be born with a preventable condition.
The Meet & Greet gave me a lot of courage to keep fighting in 2020. Dear Santa, when you give presents tonight, I want to ask you to include these messages to everyone .I know you can reach so many people in one night, including the decision-makers. Let’s see the positive change in 2020.
I wish everyone a merry Christmas and am positively looking forward to 2020.