December 01, 2003

Cinco/Thinking

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

Personal stories from couple Mike and ej

karsh says link and think, but think first

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

Aaron has two posts, one on a controversial poster and another on a new campaign to fight prejudice

Posted by ronn at December 1, 2003 07:50 PM

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Cinco/Thinking:

» To The Future from anziblog v4.0
First, I'll write the words of a love song - a love song to the future ... [Read More]

Tracked on December 1, 2003 08:02 PM

» it all starts here... from Negro, Please Don't Hurt 'Em!
Red. Hot. Riot. [Read More]

Tracked on December 1, 2003 09:00 PM

» World AIDS Day from her perspective
I have no personal story to tell about HIV/AIDS. That doesn't mean that it hasn't touched my life, or that I'm unaware, or that there isn't a need for such personal stories. Sometimes, though, I like to view the AIDS... [Read More]

Tracked on December 1, 2003 11:13 PM

» World AIDS Day 2003 from prime time
With today being World AIDS day, I have to question the concept of a single day. Why not World AIDS Year, or World AIDS Decade? For many, the luxury does not exist to only take one day to reflect on this worldwide epidemic. For many, every day is W... [Read More]

Tracked on December 2, 2003 12:02 AM

» Link and Think. But think first. from BGB.com Vol. 1 Ed. 4
If knowledge is power, what happens when you've learned the wrong things? This was the question that was asked to my fourth grade teacher that stumped her. The subject? AIDS.... [Read More]

Tracked on December 4, 2003 01:00 AM

Comments
It's my hope that you find those words one day. They're there along with your eloquence and your persistence - I believe that. *hug!* When YOU are ready ... *squeezes your hand* I think many of us adhere to the prevention message lock, stock and barrel because we'll shell-shocked. It's an understandable knee-jerk reaction: for many years, we were taught that HIV/AIDS=DEATH - that rule being absolute. And although there might be a lot not to know, noone wants to die. And eventually that message loses its urgency - for many reasons. That's why I really appreciate Think Again - I appreciate there being a conversation between Black gay men about HIV prevention. I hope even more of us add our voices to this conversation and other conversations. (Check out my comment at Karsh's blog for info about an upcoming reading.) Thanks honey. I love you. Posted by: Donald on December 1, 2003 08:23 PM
Thanks so much for your encouraging words, insightful life and for just being Donald. Sending much love and plenty of blessings and wishing eternal peace! Posted by: ronn on December 1, 2003 08:32 PM
yes, its time to remember, celebrate and think again. i am glad that many lives have been saved and that many lives will be saved. as we fight lets fight for dignity, respect and the freedom to live and love and sex with wild abandon Posted by: Tai on December 1, 2003 11:08 PM
Yesterday I was just tired, tired tired. I had to gather more strength it seems. Thanks for being there. Posted by: ej on December 2, 2003 06:51 AM
ronn, thanks for sharing this. it's difficult for many people in many ways, but the dialouge we create around it, can be saving. Posted by: kevinrscott on December 8, 2003 11:08 AM
Mr. Kevin, You're so right. That's one of the reasons that I even post about this subject. I promised myself that I would write with more depth about HIV/AIDS in the weeks to come. I just want to talk to some of my fam about certain issues before I share more. Posted by: ronn on December 8, 2003 05:54 PM