World AIDS Day

Friday, December 02, 2005

Yesterday was World AIDS Day. We should all try and remember those who have fallen to this terrible disease, those who suffered in silence and isolation, those who suffered neglect, fear, prejudice and incomprehension. The GLBT community should especially think of that entire generation of young men who disappeared into the darkness, we should think of them and mourn, for no man is an island, any death depletes us all.

And with those tearful memories we should continue the fight for education, understanding and, of course, prevention. We should be alarmed for the rising infection levels in younger people who have no memory of the horrors fo the first years of the epidemic. We should not let personal prejudices or beliefs stand in the way of protecting our health and that of those around us. This is a public health issue, and one which should be treated with that degree of seriousness and formality.

But we should also celebrate the fact that AIDS no longer is a fatal disease, and is now classified together with asthma and diabetes as a chronic illness (albeit an infectious one). We should applaud medical advances and the progress made in education campaigns around the world. There is plenty to be happy about, after all.

I particpated in a march yesterday with the AIDS organization I volunteer for (and it was the second march in one week for me, mind you). We walked across downtown and we were greeted into the largest church in Vallarta (which was packed with people) and were applauded on our way inside, carrying our banner and candles. It was quite an experience. It's wonderful to realize that people sometimes really are caring and understanding, and that maybe, just maybe, they are inherently good. Sometimes at least.

Never forget.


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