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No. 11 0f 20 Most Amazing HIV-Positive Women: Monique Howell-Moree

No. 11 0f 20 Most Amazing HIV-Positive Women: Monique Howell-Moree


This memoirist is busy combatting HIV stigma and health inequality in rural South Carolina.

The author of the 2010 memoir Living Inside My Skin of Silence, Monique Howell-Moree is the founder and CEO of Monique’s Hope for Cure Outreach Services in Holly Hill, S.C., which aims to increase awareness of HIV and combat stigma and health disparities in rural South Carolina.

“I contracted HIV in 2005 while pregnant with my third son,” Howell-Moree, a married mother of three, wrote in a blog post for A Girl Like Me, “and this disease changed my life in so many ways; most of all it gave me the strength to endure any obstacle that I may have in my life. Every day is not easy for me, but every day is worth it, because I still have one more day to live.”

An administrative clerk in the U.S. Army when she discovered she had HIV, Howell-Moree later had a relationship with another soldier and was prosecuted for nondisclosure by the military, even though she had him use a condom and he never contracted HIV.  That led to activism around anticriminalization efforts. Since then Moore has spoken twice on Capitol Hill, in addition to speaking at colleges, schools, conferences, and churches nationwide. She has received several awards for her work, and she’s also highly active with the church founded by her father, Bishop Donald C. Howell, Solid Rock International Outreach Ministries. Moore says today she still wants other women to know that they are not alone, and anyone who knows her is familiar with her signature advice, “You have to first love yourself.”

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