A Note on National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Marvelyn Brown

I grew up watching all the Disney princess movies. So I had dreams that most young girls have: I wanted to find my Prince Charming, I wanted the glass slipper to fit my foot, and I wanted to be a princess! One day, not even searching for Prince Charming, I found him. So what now? We get married and live happily ever after, right? Wrong! I mean that is what happens at the end of the all the movies. Life isn't some fairy tale.

I wound up contracting HIV from my Prince Charming. I know what you are thinking. Which prince had HIV? Was it Aladdin? John Smith? Well, none of them. My dreams were crushed. I always wanted to get married and have kids. HIV wasn't going to stop my dreams, but where did I come into the equation? Where were the girl-empowering Disney animated movies?

Women are mothers, caretakers, spouses, employees, friends, sisters, and neighbors. And some superwomen with different blood types are all these things at once.

These days I am still a princess — well, I'm getting to queen status, with this age, but there is no Prince Charming. He is make-believe anyway. Me being a princess means talking care of my castle (my body) and loving my full self while remembering to put me first, because if I am not well I can't help or take care of anybody.

Happy National Woman and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day!

Marvelyn Brown
MARVELYN BROWN is an Emmy award-winning author, HIV educator, and National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day ambassador.
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