The reason I write about AIDS (and my 13 years living HIV+) is because I want every one who reads this blog to know someone with HIV. The more I can personalize the disease , the more folks seem to become emotionally engaged in the fight against AIDS.
On World AIDS Day, there is a lot of reflection going on; The whole how far we've come/how far we have to go kinda thing.
I just heard something on NPR which moved me to tears about one of the doctors who figured prominently at the dawn of the AIDS crisis. As a young doc out of med school, he went to work for the Centers for Disease Control and went on to become a pioneer of AIDS research. Listening to him describe how his faith enables him to continute to fight the good fight was very moving indeed. Like I said it got me a little misty.
Sentimentality quickly gives way to rage when I contemplate just how short-sighted President Bush's AIDS policy has been. His whole abstinence-till-marriage routing is so seeped in judgemental religious ideology that it is doomed to fail as a policy, which means of course that more people will die of AIDS in the meantime. The fact that the Bush is exporting these "values" abroad makes it all the more contemptable.
Bush is also staunchly against needle exchange suggesting that providing clean needles "sends the wrong message." I debunk that myth here. Anyway, the message Bush is really sending is that he doesn't care about faggots and niggers and junkies. Sorry for the harsh language, but this is what the President's behavior says to me personally. And since gays, black and drug users are the ones getting the disease in highest numbers, AIDS (unlike the bird flu for example) will lag far beyone Bush's real priorities.
Anyway, if you're reading this, then you know at least one person with HIV. I don't wanna die of AIDS. I 'm tired of my friends dying of AIDS. So many are dead that I am an elderstatesman (of 34) and archivist of the fight, which is a miracle in itself. You can imagine when first diagnosed, the last thing I was thinking was I'd ever be the long-term archivist of anything. For this much I remain grateful.
Which is a perfect note to end on.