U.S. News Health
Anna Medaris Miller
Original Article: bit.ly/1NGjiTU
• The first time Michelle Anderson came out about her HIV-positive status, she stood in front of hundreds of Lone Star Riders, a biking group in her home state of Texas. The second time Anderson came out, she posted it on her Facebook wall on World AIDS Day.
• “We do it big here in Texas, so if you’re going to do something, make it big, make it grand,” laughs the 44-year-old addiction recovery coach in Dallas.
• Michelle Anderson
• Anderson hasn’t always been so forthright about having HIV. When she was diagnosed in 1999, she felt hopeless. “I was like, ‘I am HIV positive, and I am going to die,’” she recalls.
• But after moving into a supportive housing unit for people with HIV eight years later, Anderson changed her tune. “I wanted something different,” she says. “I got tired of feeling the way I was feeling, I got tired of always being in pain, I got tired of carrying this weight on my back.”
• Anderson has since been an outspoken advocate for women with HIV, writing for The Well Project’s A Girl Like Me blog and even winning the 2011 title of Miss Plus America – a pageant for plus-sized women and teens – to raise awareness and fight the stigma surrounding women with HIV. She was the first openly HIV-positive woman to take a national crown and use her status as her platform.
Full text of article available at link below: bit.ly/1NGjiTU