Dallas Beauty Queen Wins Against HIV
“I rock the Red Pump to raise awareness, end stigma, shame and blame that HIV brings to the lives of women who didn’t do anything wrong or different to receive such a diagnosis,” said Michelle Anderson, the first openly HIV positive woman to ever run for and win the national pageant title, Ms. Plus America 2011 in the Texas Plus America Pageant. “I rock the Red Pump for women who are living with HIV.”
Anderson, who was diagnosed with HIV in April 1999, has used her diagnosis as a way to educate the masses on the importance of HIV prevention and education. She has been nominated to sit on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS in 2010, recognized by the National Association of People with AIDS for the Positive Leadership Award, appeared on CNN/HLN and many other media outlets.
To learn more about how Anderson dedicates her personal life to educating others on HIV/AIDS throughout Dallas and the United States, read the Q&A story below!
Red Pump: Why is it important for women to speak openly about HIV and the issues that surrounds this condition?
Anderson: Firstly, I would like to say I do not have a condition. To say I have a condition would allow people to treat me differently and to have pity on me. I need no pity from anyone. People tend to become emotionally wrapped up in the story and forget the message (smiles). It is important for women to speak openly about HIV to raise awareness, remove stigma and bring forth commonality to HIV infection and most importantly, to end this pandemic one voice at a time.