Monday, December 1, 2008

World AIDS Day December 01, 2008

"New York City remains the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States. More than 100,000 New Yorkers are living with HIV...." -NYC Department of Health press release (via the Daily Gotham blog,

Since 1982, I have been involved on some level with the virus. In 1982, working for an elected official in Manhattan, I went to the first meetings leading to the GMHC. My first trip to Holland, in 1986, was with a friend so he could be tested outside the USA (in the days when keeping lists of positive people was on the political agenda). The countless friends who died leaving me with their legacy. I doubt most would be happy with the conservative drift in this country. Of course, I burned out from working with in-patients, 20% of whom died in recent time.

Fortunately people live longer now! But, there is considerable denial as to the course of HIV. In dating, I regularly meet men who have little heed as to what is safe sex. The fact is that there is a social support system but there is still a haunting to having the virus.

I may not be positive but the virus has totally changed my life. Most importantly it is in remembering friends of mine who passed as they still remain among the most valued friends I have had. I also think of younger people who were orphaned by the virus. There is the fact that people died in an epidemic. I am most happy that interventions have come up.

As ever, "All I want is a cure and my friends back!"

peace, hugs, compassion

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