Happy World AIDS Day.
Funny thing to celebrate, AIDS. But in a way, it is a celebration. AIDS has been with us for 30 years and while we have made advances in treating people living with the virus, people are still getting infected and still dying from it.
AIDS has been such a big part of my life. I was so active in fighting it, that people who knew me at the various events, thought I was infected and was HIV positive. Sometimes I wish I was, but I'm not. I'm negative. I think that if I were to become infected, it would be one less thing to worry about, but that would just create a whole new set of problems don't you think?
So today's holiday, really hits me hard.
I didn't even have to think about it, I just shut down and crumbled.
This happened so fast, that my survival instincts kicked in and I became numb to it, only after the day is past at midnight, could I even start to face what this day has been like for me.
I went back in time to when I was in high school and remembering this sixteen year old kid. I was a member of a AIDS Team in school, where we went to health classes to teach other kids about HIV and how to protect themselves from getting infected. I remember this guy hanging out with us and wondered who he was, if he was like a new student I hadn't met yet. We were teenagers and tore into the buffalo wings and this kid just watched us eat. After we finished eating, he started speaking and telling us his story. How he really enjoyed watching us eat, because he could see us really enjoying the wings, because he never knew if his next bite, will be his last.
That last statement really stopped everything.
We found out this kid in the room had AIDS.
Flash forward a few years, I am now an adult and am finishing up my training in becoming an HIV pre and post test counselor. It was the last day and I just found out one of my best friends just became infected and was now HIV positive.
Jumping forward to yesterday, he's recovering from a PCP infection and will be leaving the hospital tomorrow or the next day. It depends on if he can breathe well enough.
NPR had a story about a study, where a pill containing medication currently used to treat HIV infection was being used not to treat the infection, but to prevent it! The link is here http://n.pr/hj7G8B
The story also mentions a gel that women can use to kill the HIV. Wasn't that idea tried in the past and found it wasn't working?
It's almost like one step forward, two steps back, kick shuffle, shuffle, twist, slide and pose!
It's a new dance, just updated.
What needs to change is people's attitude behaviour.
We know how this virus is contracted from person to person, yet people are still getting infected!
It's enough to drive us crazy!
But who's to say that we're not already crazy?