Cuba – ‘15
I smile with glee at the headlines
Cuba has successfully become the first country in the world to eradicate mother-child transmission
“Ah, no more like me”
Yet, my whole world comes tumbling down when ignorance spreads like wildfire through social media
Why do all of these people suddenly feel that they have the right to deny me a healthy family?
“Why are HIV+ people having babies?!?!”
Because I have the right to a family just as much as the next person
“Why would you put a baby in that risk?”
How far are you going to stretch this? Should people with predispositions to other illnesses be denied the right to a child too?
I grew up just like most little girls, dreaming of that dream relationship and the dream family with the dream house
And it breaks me to have to sit and watch all of these comments go by
What is it about those three letters that can make some so
Bold feel so timid
And what are the statistics on the amount of times people have had to whisper those three letters because of fear
The world may lie to you, to keep you trapped in the box of stigma
Your voice will stutter because you’re scared of the impact when those words finally come out
But there’s something about that sense of liberation when you first allow your words to flow smoothly out and “confidently” tell someone you’re positive
Ceci is a member of the Youth Committee of CHIVA, the Children’s HIV Association, a UK charity that works with children and young people perinatally infected with HIV. CHIVA’s activities include therapeutic residential camps for HIV-positive youth and support to medical professionals who sometimes struggle to talk to young people about difficult issues like sex and relationships. The CHIVA Youth Committee is an empowerment project whose members represent the views of their peer group and engage in education and awareness activities, including speaking at conferences and to the media.
These poems are not previously published.