Thursday, December 01, 2005

World AIDS day.

I am HIV positive. Thirteen years.

Each and everyone of us knows and loves someone with HIV/AIDS. Something like 60,000,000 people in the world are infected which sounds an awful lot like a statistic, if you ask me. If you lined the HIVers up head to toe, they might stretch from here to the moon or something. (are there any fact checkers out there??)

But seriously, as I sit here writing this i realize I am one of the lucky ones. I have an undectable viral load, 1000 T cells, am in great shape, and by all outward appearances, have a totally normal life. Does anyone out there ever wonder how much my HIV meds cost, retail, peryear? something like $18,000. Folks, that is like one dollar 18,000 tiimes!!!! (yuck, yuck)

Again, i stress, as an American I am clearly one of the lucky ones. HIV transmissions are highest wherever poverty is rife : Africa, Southeast Asia, the former Soviet bloc. In these regions the price of HIV meds is upwards of 10 and 20 times what people make in a whole year. Scarey huh? People who are socially, politically, culturally or economically marginalized will ALWAYS suffer greater degrees of EVERYTHING that is bad, HIV transmission rates not withstanding.

Twenty years on and we still have a helluva fight on our hands. maybe it has been too long since we have witnessed people getting skinny and (literally) dying before our eyes, but the fact remains, THIS PANDEMIC IS STILL REAL!


Al Falafool said...

For World AIDS Day I get all bipolar. Introspective and sad over so much loss and pissed to the max over so much apathy, inaction, bullshit of the bureacratic variety as well as other kinds. HRC has posted a way to take some kind of action: writing to your legislators to urge refunding the Ryan White Act. This is not the most satisfying thing to do but it is SOMETHING.
In case you missed it, here is the email they sent out about this today. Following that is a sonnet from old Mr. Shakespeare in case you too find yourself falling onto the depressive end of the pole. Misery loves company, no? Just make sure you don't stay there too long. Kick yourself in the ass, if you have to, to get back up and fight the power!
From HRC:
Today, December 1, is World AIDS Day. In recognition of the day, the Human Rights Campaign is issuing our second annual report card to America's leaders, grading their response to the AIDS crisis.

While some in Congress have been stellar in their support for addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States and abroad, our overall national response has been guided by ideology instead of sound science and hasn't provided the resources necessary to adequately and appropriately address the epidemic, particularly within communities of color.

Take a moment to read America's report card, and then please urge Congress to reauthorize the Ryan White CARE Act in 2006. The CARE Act provides funding to states for critical services to people living with HIV/AIDS, and its authorization expired on September 30, 2005.

(cut and paste this link)

Though the CARE Act continues to receive funding, it urgently needs to be reauthorized in 2006 and funded at levels that are adequate to address the HIV/AIDS public health crisis in the United States. The Human Rights Campaign has graded the USA an "F" in Care & Treatment - a key area the CARE Act is supposed to address.
And from Willy Shakespeare:

Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day,
And make me travel forth without my cloak,
To let base clouds o'ertake me in my way,
Hiding thy bravery in their rotten smoke?
'Tis not enough that through the cloud thou break,
To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face,
For no man well of such a salve can speak
That heals the wound and cures not the disgrace:
Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief;
Though thou repent, yet I have still the loss:
The offender's sorrow lends but weak relief
To him that bears the strong offence's cross.
Ah! but those tears are pearl which thy love sheds,
And they are rich and ransom all ill deeds.

And from the B-52s: "Now don't that make you feel a whole lot betta?! (I'm just askin')"

Cheers all! Happy World AIDS Day. Someday I hope to say, "May it be our last."

Anonymous said...

HRC sucks. they need to spend some of their $$ winning an election or 2!

Anonymous said...

A day for the world to reflect on this issue, while I reflect on it daily. A personal first step to action is to know your own status. If you are not CERTAIN, get tested today! As for my actions...3 people were tested today as a result of my outreach. Maybe not so many, but all it took was a gentle reminder. Today, I honor my personal heros, dead and alive...none deserved to be cast in the shadow of this cruel spectre. lylys

Anonymous said...

just read both new posts...i don't think i knew you had been + for so are a lucky one, compared to what's going on in africa.
i've always thought AIDS in africa is about wiping out enough people
that the west can more easily bring africa into the modern age.