WORLD AIDS DAY - DECEMBER 1 - EVERY YEAR
AIDS is a cruel disease that strikes when people are at their most vulnerable. Wether it’s was in hospitals during blood transfusions or on the opposite side of the spectrum, experiencing primal desire, AIDS/HIV is a callous disease. It’s touched my life in many ways and it is always hurtful to see.
When I was a little girl in the late 80s, my mother’s colleague was diagnosed with AIDS. I was never told formally but I was a conscious little kid and I was aware of Ryan White, Live AID and the Regan administration’s refusal to acknowledge this epidemic that was aggressively ending the lives of so many young, beautiful people.
I would hear conversations in passing but thought, “If someone is sick, they obviously beed help.” It would be nearly a decade before the horrific disease would be under control. I remember rallies, marches, tv specials and the brave activists who would fight for their right to life, to survival.
Knowing all this, I have been fast and loose when things got hot and heavy. I believe it’s important to say things out loud and to take responsibility for your actions (and inactions) that have dire consequences. It’s important to reflect so better decisions are made next time!
I recently watched the “Normal Heart.” An HBO movie based on the book and play written by AIDS and gay rights activist Larry Kramer. It was shocking and so sad to watch someone recount the fear and anger of watching their friends be taken by this disease. It took me back to my mother’s friend, who was so kind, so talented and so young. He was afraid to hug us because the education was not there. I can’t imaging being so sick and so sacred and being void of human touch and compassion.
Live AID was a celebration to bring awareness to AIDS/HIV. It was a scary time but the July 13, 1985 concert was a party like no other. This concert was to raise awareness, escape the pain and stigma and pay tribute to the lives lost. When I see clips I am stopped in my tracks. I am struck by the talent and the goodness amongst each person who came together to fight AIDS.
This day every year, remember to be kind, compassionate and safe. Then make it your mission every day to do the same.