MARIA DAVIS:<br />
A Warrior for HIV/AIDS
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from the outside in. I had to learn that. I tell people I didn’t get HIV because it said, “I’m after you! I’m going to catch you! I got you!” I got HIV because I participated in sexual behavior without a condom [because] I didn’t love myself enough. When I think about some of the guys I slept with, I now know that I shouldn’t have even done it because they weren’t worthy of who I was. But at the time I didn’t know who I was. Until I found me, “me” was all over the place. This is what we really need to instill in our young people: Find yourself and also, know about your own body. We don’t even touch ourselves! Other people touch and know our bodies, but we don’t.

Every day that I get up, I thank God for another day. Then my mind starts clicking. I ask myself, “What can I do today? Who can I encourage? Who can I tell? What radio station can I go on? What magazine can I get in? I need somebody to listen.” That’s what I get up everyday saying to myself. I’ll ask God to open another door, [to give me] another way in. I thank God for amfAR because as their "Making the History" Ambassador, I have been getting a lot of interviews. I’m grateful for this opportunity to let people know that AIDS is not over. We cannot be comfortable about it. And this has to be an ongoing conversation, not just when it’s World AIDS Day, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Latino HIV/ AIDS Awareness Day or National HIV Testing Day. No, this needs to be a conversation every day.