And then one day there is a great heaving movement of the inmates in the prison. You hear their shouts and barks followed by bursts from assault rifles nearby. You wonder whether it is better to move toward or away from the shooting –maybe the place is being liberated. You smell the blood and hear the death well before a military man –he's younger than your children– bursts into the room firing. You dive to the infested floor as hundreds of steel-jacketed rounds splash through bodies like hot knives through warm butter. Buried alive under several bleeding inmate bodies, you hide until the killers move on, reloading. You can't breathe. You're unsure whether you've been wounded or as luck might have it, killed. You're wondering whether death would be good or bad luck when a radio within earshot reports that inmates rioted but the government is now in control of the situation. You try to laugh but can't catch a breath. You close your eyes praying to Jesus they never have to open again.
At first she agreed that I use her real name, that she had no problems with that at all. After all, living with HIV had driven her to help others – as a workshop facilitator giving talks and conducting seminars, or as a volunteer for local AIDS Service Organizations like Acción Solidaria (Solidary Action) and Mujeres Unidas por la Salud (Women United for Health, or Musa), a support group network for HIV-positive women. But when we were well into the interview, the realization that she might lose her private health insurance coverage made her change her mind.