If I remember correctly, five people contract AIDS every minute. In my lifetime, I've lost at least five people to three little words: HIV. And though it's been more than a decade and a half since the first passing, I still can't form the words to speak about them. To talk about the hurt and anger and hopelessness those first two deaths have caused me.
Once I became true to myself and started down the path to hell (i.e. crossed over to the world of Black Gay Sex!), I tried to put those three little words out of my consciousness. I knew all the info and preventative measures, I just ignored them and engaged in some seriously risky behaviour. How I was able to avoid AIDS is beyond me. Once I woke up, I became a broken record. Anyone willing to hear -- hell, anyone in earshot, whether they wanted to hear or not -- got the prevention message, info about proper condom usage and an offer to accompany them to get tested. I travelled to so many clinics, doctors offices and made so many appointments for others to get information and tested. I got tested about 6 or 7 times myself.
Unfortunately, all that activity got me exhausted. I suffer (am still suffering?) from overload and have not been as vigilant as in the past. I could lie and say I hope to change that. But given my recent history and the daunting personal tasks in my near future, I can't make any promises. I just hope I've helped change some people's mindsets. I hope some have kept the message that they can make a difference in their lives; that they can protect themselves.
--- World AIDS Day 2003 links:
Donald looks to the future
Anitra gives her perspective
Stephanie shares hers
Rachel goes the multimedia route with AIDS awareness
j. proclaims himself the last sucker
Bernie drops some knowledge
Posted by ronn at December 1, 2003 07:50 PM
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Tracked on December 1, 2003 08:02 PM
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