Sian Green of New Orleans is an intelligent, hardworking single mom of two children whom she loves "unconditionally." She is also a woman living with HIV.
"Becoming an HIV/AIDS activist was not second nature, nor was finding my purpose in life," Green wrote on the Well Project's A Girl Like Me blog. "While sitting down with my case manager, having a discussion about my life, which was very therapeutic, it dawned on me!"
"My darkest trials," she adds, "including self-esteem, domestic violence, homelessness, betrayal, and being HIV-positive always brought doubtful questions of: 'When would it end? Where is the light? Why me? What have I done? My trials were my testimony! A testimony that hundreds to millions can hear and feel empowered. For those who are HIV positive and carry other burdens to know you are not alone."
Green funneled her struggles into advocacy, finding fulfillment with her work at the Southern AIDS Coalition, the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies, Louisiana AIDS Advocacy Network, Positive Women's Network, and Crescent Care. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention honored Green's contributions to the fight against HIV in Louisiana -- which has one of the highest rates of diagnoses in the nation -- by making her an ambassador to its Act Against AIDS Campaign.
Of her many endeavors, Green is especially proud of her work with A Girl Like Me, which empowers and inspires women living with HIV.
"This program speaks volumes to all women who are living with HIV," Green says. "This program is not just a blog that we can submit to relieve the burdens we have encountered in this journey, but it is a support group... We have a voice. We will not stop fighting!"