As a photographer I meet and work with some very interesting people and hear interesting stories. Valentines day is almost here and we are all trying to find gifts for the ones that we care about and love. When I heard about this one gift someone give to someone they cared about, one that I hade a small connection with, I thought it was such a good idea that I wanted to share it with others. The gift was a book. A book all young lovers, and older ones, should read.
Not so long ago I learned, from a friend ,about a young lady who had an experience with love that didn’t turn out the way she thought it would. As a matter of fact, it changes her life forever in ways she never imagined. This young lady became an author, an activist, and an Emmy award winner as a result of her experience with intimacy and love. This, of course, all sounds great and would be if it weren’t for the fact that it came at a great cost. The young lady I’m telling you about is Marvelyn Brown and the book she wrote is called “The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful and (HIV) Positive”.
The book is an autobiographical account of Marvlyn’s life and about her contacting HIV at the young age of 19 during an encounter with a man she loved and trusted. I had someone close to me die from AIDS (as many have) and, as a result of hearing about Marvelyn’s activities, I created a Wikipedia article about Marvelyn’s experience so that individuals doing research on the subject of HIV/AIDS would come across the story and learn something that could help them.
Marvelyn’s book and work as a HIV/AIDS activist has resulted in Brown having had extensive radio and television appearances. Marvelyn Brown has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, America’s Next Top Model, CNN, MTV, BET, and The Tavis Smiley Show. She has also been written about in Newsweek, Ebony Magazine, and Real Health magazines. Her public-service announcement for Think MTV won an Emmy Award. Marvelyn Brown has dedicated her life to HIV/AIDS awareness. Brown was names one of the Top 25 Heroes of the past twenty-five years of the AIDS epidemic (other noted AIDS activist included on this list are Alicia Keys, Magic Johnson and Phill Wilson).
I know it might not be the kind of gift idea that immediately comes to mind when we think of a day that is about expressing our love. However; in a world where that one expression might cost you more then you think, I believe this is one gift, this book, you should consider. What better way to express your caring for someone then with a gift that will teach them to protect themselves so they can live a long and loving life. What is someone who loves you suppose to do but protect you…right? Happy Valentines Day!