Thursday, November 30, 2006

An HIV diary

I am HIV positive and on the eve of World AIDS Day I find myself relecting on my dozen-year battle.

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, we 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 HIV meds cost, retail, peryear? something like $18,000 which makes me pretty lucky that I have prescription drug benefits.

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.

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!

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