Posidiva on the Catwalk

by Eliane

Eliane 1 The competition for being the “Face of Winter Amsterdam” was open to everyone. The organization Fashion Outreach Amsterdam was organizing a fundraising event to support the homeless in Amsterdam. It was meant to raise awareness on issues that hardly get attention in our society. One of the issues that need attention are the homeless in general, and I choose to be the voice for the voiceless in raising the issue of HIV within the community of homeless. There is hardly any attention given to that topic. I was selected to be one of the top 5 finalists in the competition, as an HIV activist – “Know your Status”

We all know that HIV does not discriminate. As anyone else also homeless people can be infected. For them it is even worse – they will never speak up because of the Stigma. They have different needs. Survival in the street jungle and poverty. Stigma kept me in the closet for ten years. I used to hide my medication carefully in a private room where nobody could see it. Imagine homeless who don’t even have a special room. How stressful life can be. For them there is no or little information available on their rights to decent healthcare, especially as a homeless individual living with HIV.

So, Saturday 14 January was my D-day!  I was looking forward to speak and inspire people during my presentation. I had great support from my husband, my friends from Amersfoort as well as some Posidivas. There were also special quests that came, a few people from the international organisation Young Positive, who were in Amsterdam for their annual meeting. They came along with my brother from another mother, HIV activist from Burundi, Cedric Nininahazwe. I felt so blessed to be surrounded by people who love me and came there to support me!

Eliane 2 Eliane 3Before I started out my walk on the catwalk I really had to giggle.  I was about to tick one of the things from my bucket list! It felt amazing to realize that I am doing something at 40 that I really wanted badly at the age of 16, but because of living in war zone, I was not that fortunate!
So, when this opportunity came up, I took it with grace and pleasure. I walked with no fear and no shame! Beautifully dressed and elegant. I did not win the first prize but the title I got as second made me even prouder:

I won the title of Ambassador for Youth within the Migrant Diaspora.

Lessons learned: never say never you give it a try!  And of course, it was important to bring my message across of breaking taboo and stigma around HIV, just by showing how beautiful and smart looking I am as POSIDIVA.
I am proud of this catwalk experience and of course, I will continue to spread the word!
Posidiva Eliane Becks

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01 2017

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  1. 1

    CONGRATULATIONS Posidiva Eliane Becks ❤️

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