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BTL EDITORIAL: Honor those we’ve lost to AIDS, protect those we can

By |2018-01-16T07:23:41-05:00November 30th, 2006|Uncategorized|

More and more people are saying that HIV infection seems to be making a comeback. The thing is, the virus never disappeared.
It’s remained dormant in the media and led many people – mostly a new generation – to believe that we’re safe from HIV. That advanced treatments can sort of cure those with the virus. That living longer means living forever.
We’ve come along away since the early ’80s, when AIDS was considered an automatic death sentence. But, as much as pharmaceutical companies want us to believe we’re on the brink of finding the next breakthrough, we have to remember: AIDS still kills.
On World AIDS Day we recognize those we’ve lost to AIDS-related illness, but it’s also a reminder to those who aren’t infected. We’ve all been caught in the heat of the moment. Some make better choices than others, though, when it comes to keeping condoms handy. And, more importantly, using them. What good is a condom living in a dresser drawer? If need be, find more convenient places for them.
Sadly, many of us can relate to Jay Porter’s unprotected sex incident, where he was drunk and thought he’d found his match. Of course it didn’t turn out the way he imagined. And although he slipped through the cracks by testing negative for HIV, he learned an evening of pleasure wasn’t worth a lifetime of taking pills and monitoring immune cells.
On Dec. 1, let’s take time to honor those we’ve lost to AIDS. Wear a red ribbon and ask others to do the same. Raise awareness of HIV and AIDS in your city. Post HIV awareness posters. Give a friend a box of condoms. Or simply remind a friend that there’s no cure for HIV.
Perhaps media’s bombardment of HIV awareness in the early ’90s fizzled and, now more than ever, youth aren’t being educated on this still-alive and deadly virus. Let’s focus our attention on moving forward and doing what we can to combat HIV before we revisit the horror of the virus in the ’80s. Forty million people are currently infected with HIV. Within that number is probably a friend, a partner or a family member of yours. It may even be you. We can’t erase the past, but we can protect the future.
However, some aren’t.
Like the two HIV-positive men in our cover story, measures to protect ourselves are still being ignored by some who’d rather risk it than wrap it. And as they do, AIDS will still kill.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.