Sunday, December 01, 2013

World AIDS Day...

I recently saw a post from a young gay man that was HIV positive.  He wrote a post about how he did not define his life by his HIV status.  I smiled to myself.

If you pushed "rewind" on the clock ten years, twenty years, thirty years... that statement would have been boldly audacious.  Because being HIV+ was a death sentence for so many.  Not only did it condemn people (both straight and gay) to die, but it carried with it marring social stigmas.  Who can forget Ryan White's story, who was kicked out of middle school after having contracted HIV through a blood transfusion?  He was fiercely discriminated against.

Seeing someone who was living their life nowadays, without that baggage was nice.  It was good to see a shift in social consciousness and that with a little bit of time, research, and treatment, something that was so terrible on a pandemic scale could be managed and that infected individuals could lead their lives without worrying about being so openly and freely hated.

The smile was a bittersweet one though.

While there certainly have been improvements made across the board in many developed countries in the fight against AIDS and the prevention of spreading HIV, there is still no cure and other countries... other continents... who are less fortunate, still suffer to this day.  Infection rates in Africa are ridiculously high, even after attention has been brought to this issue and treatment has gone up in recent years.  HIV/AIDS is still a major health concern that effects gays and straights alike.  It is not just something that effects those who have contracted the virus, but impacts the lives of people who are HIV negative as well.

Today is World AIDS Day.  To find out more about what this means and how you can participate, CLICK HERE.  I am HIV- and I use this day of observance to reflect on those who I have known who have lost their lives to this disease and to hopefully bring awareness to it.  The fight isn't over yet.  Until there is a cure and it is accessible to everyone who is infected, the fight isn't over yet.

1 comment:

Cathie Carroll said...

I'm just catching up on my blog reads and wanted to let you know that you really touched me. I was working in theater in Chicago when AIDS struck. The devastation was hard to fathom. We lost an entire generation of talented men.

I remember the last time I saw Earl Love, and my dear friend David Condin. Both dead much too young. I hope you don't mind me writing about them, but I bring their names up when I can because I don't want their names to be forgotten. They were both talented beautiful men who died scared and mostly alone.

Bless you for your courage and strength. Thank you for writing about this topic.

With love, Cathie