I disagree with Fox40 News: I think that there IS cause for celebration, 30 years after the introduction of AIDS.
I went from watching friends eventually die by it, to barely knowing anyone who has it.
I remember that within my gay circles, either someone was sick from it or mourning someone who’s dying from it. And we all knew someone who already died from it.
I remember the stigma was so maligned. It was so bad, that when I first tried to write a science paper on the emerging mysterious gay disease, I had to drive to university libraries for research because the mass media was just pomp & circumstance. I remember having a supportive science teacher, even when I was catching a little heat after my family, peers & other teachers found out what I was looking into. I remembered that we had to change my graded A+ paper that concluded that GRID (what it was called at the time) was not biologically targeted towards gays, to a pared down essay that tried to explain how the virus affects the body, for some science essay contest.
Now, you can google all the medical findings, statistics, personal testimonies, fundraisers related to AIDS. From your cellphone.
Now, once paralyzed by a mysterious disease, my newer gay friends are more liberated, more themselves, than the friends I made a decade ago. Now, we know it’s not just a gay disease. It’s no longer a death sentence. It’s treatable, even manageable. 30 years ago, we didn’t have Princess Diana raising awareness and research dollars, or Magic Johnson and Timothy Brown success stories. Now, hope is no longer a myth.
We went from “AIDS Kills More Gays” to “AIDS Cases of Non-Gays Climbing” to “Drug Cocktails Possible Treatment” to “Magic Johnson is Beating AIDS” to “Noone Actually Dies from AIDS, They Die From the Diseases the Body Would Normally Fight Off” to the disease that no longer made headlines. Until today. Hopefully, in 30 more years, AIDS will just be the 21st Century Smallpox story.
So tip your cups to 30 years of education, awareness and success!