Advocate Stories, Health and Education

HIV Is Not A Crime

by Guest Author, Stacy Jennings (South Carolina Positive Women's Network) on Jun 27, 2018

Stacy Jennings is a 23 year survivor of HIV. The day Stacy received her diagnosis in the year of 1995, she thought her life would be over. Little did she know that what started out being a devastating diagnosis ended up being a blessing. She is able to speak out about her disease and is no longer ashamed. 

Stacy is co-chair of the South Carolina Positive Women’s Network (PWN), a mother, a poet, and an advocate.  In her free time, Stacy loves writing poetry about all facets of life. Stacy entered her poem, “HIV Is Not a Crime,” into an art contest for the “HIV Is Not a Crime Training Academy” and won a spot in a museum for World AIDS Day. She dreams to share her story to all who will listen, so she can continue bringing down this disease.

Read her poem below:

HIV is not a crime
How can I live my life
If I’m worried about getting time
I cannot love, because of
being afraid to live
I’ve given my all and now
I have nothing left to give
People are hating, dishing out
Guilt and shame
Because of HIV Criminalization
They keep slandering my name
I feel so lost and all I do is mope
I’ve been broken down with
Little ability to cope
What does my status have to
do with my happiness
Because of HIV Criminalization
My life is just a mess
I need a way out and these laws
need to be modernized and
Until that happens I’ll have to
Live my life in a disguise
These HIV Criminalization laws
don’t match up with the science
So we must come together
To build an alliance
So together we shall stand
Or divided we will fall
And if we don’t do something now
HIV Criminalization will destroy us all.

The Positive Women’s Network is a national membership of women living with HIV and allies that work to strategically strengthen the power of all women living with HIV in the United States. To learn more about the South Carolina Chapter, visit their website.

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