World AIDS Day

November 30, 2007 at 7:40 pm | Posted in getting involved, Health, Personal | 3 Comments

I can remember when AIDS was “discovered.” I had several friends who were gay and we hung out on a social basis. They would have these gay newspapers they subscribed to laying around the house. The magazines became full of stories of death. I remember seeing on the news that people were running kids out of school/town/playgrounds because they discovered the child had AIDS. It was a horrible time. Then, my friends started dying. It seemed that no sooner was someone diagnosed, than they became thin, and sickly, shortly after that, they died. I wouldn’t see someone for just a few months (all my gay friends lived in the next county) and would run into a mutual friend and ask where he was, and would find that in that short time, he was diagnosed, and died. It was horrible! The last bedside I attended was a young man that had been abandoned by his family. He lay in his hospital bed in a coma, all alone.

Now with all the new drugs and treatments, along with better understanding by the general population on how AIDS is spread, those diagnosed are living longer, healthier lives, often with family and friends all around them. I am so glad about that, but I am not glad that the rate of infection is said to be on the rise in young folks. Seems that they no longer see the “death sentence” we used to see, so they are not as scared of contracting the disease. This is such a shame. The disease is still real, and terrible. I can hope that having a World Aids Day will help folks remember that, and that they will do something to help ease the suffering of folks who have it, and even better, for those young folks to see the true numbers of those who have died, and start to see the number of people that each death affects.

I will be taking my kids to the Clinton Presidential Library ( http://www.clintonfoundation.org/cf-pgm-hs-ai-home.htm ) to see the AIDS quilt ( http://www.aidsquilt.org/ ). Their father has cared for many small children and babies with AIDS and even carries a photo of a little one who didn’t make it in his wallet. I hope that my kids never have to lose a friend to AIDS, but if they ever meet someone with it, they will know to not be afraid and be ok with hugging them and can be a good friend. So, here is a thought out to all those affected by HIV/AIDS and a moment of reflection on those who have passed.

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3 Comments »

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  1. I was just remembering those dark days myself, today. You are right too. Too many young people think the “crisis” is past. I am happy that we have come such a long way in treatment. It’s the reason I still have a number of friends still with me, but I worry at the attitudes that some young people are developing thinking it’s treatable. Treatable is different than curable and I think all of my friends would be happy to tell anyone who is playing with fire that.

  2. Thanks for this post. I think the awareness has decreased since the treatment has increased. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Yeah, I actually saw one a local person who is HIV positive, describe AIDS as “like having diabetes.” Terrible to have, but certainly not a death sentence. I am not sure that this was the best part of his talk to highlight for the 10 second spot he was given, to encourage folks to be careful. The other top quote on the eventing new was doctor who specializes in HIV/AIDS treatment who again said “it no longer is a death sentence.” Sigh. I guess there is no reason to be scared of catching it anymore, is there?


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