Tag Archive | AIDS

To absent friends…

Today is World AIDS Day. Each year, I spend part of the day remembering people I have known who left this world too soon because of that disease.

So: Frank, Mike, Tim, David, Todd, Chet, Jim, Steve, Brian, Rick, Stacy, Phil, Mark, Michael, Jerry, Walt, Charles, Thomas, Mike, Richard, Bob, Mikey, James, Lisa, Todd, Kerry, Glen, and Jack. Some of you I didn’t know for very long. One of you was a relative. One of you was one of my best friends in high school.

I miss you all. It was a privilege to know you.

The theme of 2018 for the World Aids Day campaign is “Know your status.” A huge number of people still think of HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) as a gay disease, when world wide the majority of people infected are straight women and children. Various health organizations have begun recommending the HIV screening become part of routine medical tests administered to everyone, to reduce the stigma of getting tested. Particularly since we have better ways of stopping the spread of infection than in the past, and with modern treatment, being infected is no longer a guarantee of death at an early age.

But you can’t get treated if you don’t know you have it.

Advertisements

To absent friends…

World-AIDS-Day-2012_1Today is World AIDS Day. Each year, I spend part of the day remembering people I have known who left this world too soon because of that disease.

So: Frank, Mike, Tim, David, Todd, Chet, Jim, Steve, Brian, Rick, Stacy, Phil, Mark, Michael, Jerry, Walt, Charles, Thomas, Mike, Richard, Bob, Mikey, James, Lisa, Todd, Kerry, Glen, and Jack. Some of you I didn’t know for very long. One of you was a relative. One of you was one of my best friends in high school.

I miss you all. It was a privilege to know you.

This year’s theme for World AIDS Day is “Let’s End It.” For the first time ever, a reduction in the number of new infections as been measured in several cities, finally bringing a new kind of hope.

Meanwhile, the joke of a president the U.S. is enduring managed to leave out mention of every marginalized community disproportionately impacted by the illness:

Remember how Trump’s first Holocaust Remembrance Day proclamation made no mention of the Jews? Well, Trump’s first World AIDS Day proclamation is out and you’ll never guess who he left out this time: gay men, people of color, and trans men and women—the communities most at risk, the communities that suffered the most during the plague years. It’s like they get up every day determined to prove to the world that they are the assholes we already damn well know them to be.

How do you talk about AIDS and forget to mention queer people??? TRUMP FORGOT THE LGBT COMMUNITY ON WORLD AIDS DAY…

To absent friends…

world-aids-day-december-1-cardToday is World AIDS Day. Each year, I spend part of the day remembering people I have known who left this world too soon because of that disease.

So: Frank, Mike, Tim, David, Todd, Chet, Jim, Steve, Brian, Rick, Stacy, Phil, Mark, Michael, Jerry, Walt, Charles, Thomas, Mike, Richard, Bob, Mikey, James, Lisa, Todd, Kerry, Glen, and Jack. Some of you I didn’t know for very long. One of you was a relative. One of you was one of my best friends in high school.

I miss you all. It was a privilege to know you.

fact-images4

This year’s World AIDS Day theme is about ending the stigma of being infected with HIV, the virus that can cause AIDS. In the early days, fear drove some of the stigma, as a lot of people were afraid that it could be contagious through casual contact. Fewer people are that misinformed, now, but there is still a lot of stigma around the disease. Many people aren’t aware that with modern treatment, for instance, that an HIV-positive person living in a first world country has the same life expectancy as an uninfected person, and that patients can be healthy for many decades after infection (it isn’t necessarily a cakewalk: taking a handful of pills every day for the rest of your life, dealing with side-effects of the drugs, and still always at risk because the immune system is compromised). But while fear was and remains a factor in the stigma, plain old bigotry has always been a bigger factor. With an added layer of blame for getting infected in an era when we supposedly know how to have safe sex and avoid infection.

That blame myth is an outgrowth of several different bits of misinformation. People who don’t realize that HIV-infected people can live for many decades without ill health, so that assume anyone who has it must of been infected very recently. Then there’s people who don’t realize that there is no such thing as completely risk free sex…

fact-images3

…and then there are the huge number of people who think that you can only get infected through “gay sex.” Some think that only queer men have the disease, so only people who have sex with queer (gay, bi, or pansexual) men are at risk. They’re unware that worldwide the vast majority of people living with the virus are heterosexual women. There are other people who believe that it is only transmissible through specific sex acts which they associate with gay people. Which is one of the reasons that in some places most new infections are happening to straight people. They assume they don’t have to take precautions.

Don’t be one of this misinformed people: Myths busted: 7 things people still don’t understand about HIV and AIDS.

And did you know the Apple is the largest corporate contributor to the Global Fund (dedicated to fighting AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria): Tim Cook on his company’s biggest-ever World Aids Day event and why saving lives is not political.

And then there’s always hope: For This World AIDS Day, Hope is High.

To absent friends…

World-AIDS-Day-2012_1Today is World AIDS Day. Each year, I spend part of the day remembering people I have known who left this world too soon because of that disease.

So: Frank, Mike, Tim, David, Todd, Chet, Jim, Steve, Brian, Rick, Stacy, Phil, Mark, Michael, Jerry, Walt, Charles, Thomas, Mike, Richard, Bob, Mikey, James, Lisa, Todd, Kerry, Glen, and Jack. Some of you I didn’t know for very long. One of you was a relative. One of you was one of my best friends in high school.

I miss you all. It was a privilege to know you.

Rex Huppke has a post on why fighting AIDS is still important: On World AIDS Day, pass this on. ‘Only a third of gay and bisexual men “realize that new infections are on the rise among gay men” and 22 percent think rates are decreasing. The survey also found: “Most gay and bisexual men are not aware of current treatment recommendations for those who are HIV-positive, or of the latest developments in reducing new infections.”‘

And in case you’re operating under notion the AIDS only something that happens to gay men who bring it on themselves: in 2014, around 1,000 adolescents (children aged 15-19) were newly infected with HIV every week in the Asia-Pacific region alone. And globally, the number of children aged 15-19 infected with the virus that causes AIDS is 26 every hour.

To absent friends…

world_logo1Today is World AIDS Day. Each year, I spend part of the day remembering people I have known who left this world too soon because of that disease.

So: Frank, Mike, Tim, David, Todd, Chet, Jim, Steve, Brian, Rick, Stacy, Phil, Mark, Michael, Jerry, Walt, Charles, Thomas, Mike, Richard, Bob, Mikey, James, Lisa, Todd, Kerry, Glen, and Jack. Some of you I didn’t know for very long. One of you was a relative. One of you was one of my best friends in high school.

I miss you all. It was a privilege to know you.

Bruce Ward has written about one aspect of this long struggle: Longterm Survivors: A World AIDS Day Remembrance.

Mitchell Warren explains why We Can’t Wait Five Years to See if the AIDS Response Is on Track.

Finally, if you think this is something that only affects a limited number of people, maybe even people who have brought it on themselves: AIDS-related illnesses are the second leading cause of death among adolescents aged 10–19 years globally, and the leading cause of death among adolescents in Africa.

%d bloggers like this: