Sunday, July 16, 2006

Letter to an HIV+ Friend.

Today's Flickr pic

"Wake Up!"
click to enlarge

The other day I recieved an email from a very special person I've met last year that has recently contracted the HIV virus. He's only 23 years old. He asked me to update his link in my links page. I took this opportunity to come out to him.


Hey Mr,

you caught me as I was surfing the net at work.

this is where I was

HIV Stops with Me

I found it through this site

HIV/AIDS at 25

I must confess that I've read your past entry where you came out about being HIV positive.
You are not the first person I've known personally that has contracted the disease but...I'm still finding ways to cope with it all. I often make inappropriate jokes to friends about HIV and AIDS but it's a clear coping mechanism to mask the hurt and anger that I have towards the disease. You'd think that after 25 years someone would have found a cure. The fact that no one has, makes me sad. The fact that people, good people are still getting infected makes me angry!

It's easy to blame someone, anyone for the millions of infections in the world, but does pointing fingers ever help anyone? I don't think so.

I really hope you are doing well, and I send you much love.

Big BIG BIGGGG HUG, MUAH!
-A


He then replied with:


Hey there,

Thanks for the email. I've always felt that you were one of the people
I knew in NYC that had a depth to them about things and actually really
thought about things. Your email makes me think that even more.
Finding out I was HIV positive has really opened my eyes to a lot of
things and given me a passion to work with organizations in HIV
prevention and research, gay equality, and numerous other things that
still need so much fighting for.

I've been doing fantastic in SF and loving it here so much!

It's ironic you were at the HIVstopswithme website, as my boyfriend is
one of their spokesmodels for San Francisco.

I'm hoping to make it back to NYC in the next few months and hopefully
when I do we can catch up.

HUGS!
-J

The first cases of HIV infection were reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on June 5, 1981. Who knows how long before that HIV was around. I was born in 1979. We could easily assume HIV had been around then, yet it hadn't been identified. This means my generation doesn't know a life without HIV. We don't have the privilege, the freedom of having sex without the fear of a death sentance. Older generations had to go through hell in the early 80s losing friends and family members left and right. My generation and those after me have grown up with HIV/AIDS in the news, in our schools, and in our homes. There is no lack of information regarding how to prevent the spread of this disease, yet the cases of infections keeps growing. WHY?

It's time to stop this. It's time to stop this. IT'S TIME TO STOP THIS! STOP IT! STOP AIDS!

It's easy to say "STOP AIDS" isn't it? It's even easier to contract the disease. Sometimes the greatest goals are the hardest to achieve; however, wouldn't it be amazing to say "My generation STOPPED AIDS!" I believe we can do it if we take care of ourselves and eachother. I think we can do it, if we love ourselves and eachother. I think we CAN stop aids. There is no good reason why future generations should inherite this disease. If you think it's too late to save those in the past then help save those in the future. My generation inhereted HIV/AIDS. Lets remove HIV/AIDS from our living wills forever. STOP AIDS.

Listen to:
AIDS: In Their Own Words