‘Ms. Meta’ on frontline, empowering others facing HIV

At 62, Meta Smith-Davis is often celebrated as a hero for her work with HIV/AIDS. The self-described to’ up from the flo’ up, ex-con, drug-addicted, homeless Black woman living with HIV, says, “All I did was clean their mirror so they could see what I saw… All I did was clean the mirror so that they could do the work.” The work, she said, is being able to come to terms with an HIV-positive diagnosis and doing everything necessary to live a whole, healthy life.

Fact: Eliminating stigmas can reduce the spread of HIV

The fact remains: There are still many stigmas around HIV/AIDS which are critical barriers to preventing the disease from spreading. In a city like Baton Rouge where new HIV diagnoses  register as some of the highest in the nation, prevention is critical to stopping the disease and saving lives, said Tim Young, executive director of … Continue reading

I am the face of those ashamed to disclose their HIV status

Despite the conversation that HIV/AIDS is a silent killer, I beg to differ. The voice of fear screams loudly, the spread of stigma and ignorance is deafening, the loss of love ones from the virus is real, the grief is our living with the shame and blame is disheartening! How can anyone see the effects … Continue reading

HIV: Alive and Strong, South Louisiana’s Invisible Epidemic

Southeast Louisiana HIV cases remain among highest in the nation Louisiana has long sat at the bottom of statistics for things like overall well-being and education. But, in 2012, Baton Rougeans found themselves, unfortunately, at the top of one of the least ideal statistics in the country. The city was named number one for AIDS … Continue reading