Editorial: You need to wear more than a red ribbon

BTL Staff
By | 2017-01-01T09:00:00-04:00 January 1st, 2017|Uncategorized|

As this issue goes to press, we are just four days away from World AIDS Day. During these next ninety-six hours, five people worldwide will die of AIDS every minute the clock ticks by. If we did the math correctly, that’s another 28,800 lives lost to this horrific pandemic in just the next four days alone. It’s a number so unmanageable to our psyches, many of us simply shut down.
Last year alone, 5 million people were infected, bringing the total number to 42 million around the globe, with 900,000 of them living in the United States.
Without a doubt, one of the most difficult challenges of the past two decades for the world community has been to find a cure for this unrelenting plague. It has altered forever our psychological, sociological and spiritual quests.
For those of us old enough to remember HIV/AIDS early beginnings, with the strain and stain of stigma, the pain of unexplained rapid loss of life of close friends and lovers, our leaders turning their backs (yes, Ronald Regan, too), it is a solemn day full of pain and disbelief as our memories return us to those we have lost.
The fight against AIDS is personal, political, and crosses all international boundaries. You can help by wearing a condom, voting for politicians who believe the fight against AIDS is a priority, and supporting measures that make AIDS drugs available for people who cannot afford them worldwide rather than lining the pockets of pharmaceutical companies.
The silence of so-called leaders during the early years of the epidemic led to the desperate yet empowering battle cry “Silence = Death.”
Do not remain silent this World AIDS Day. It is important to remember those lost and those fighting for their lives. Wear a red ribbon, learn more about HIV/AIDS, talk to co-workers, friends, family and neighbors, participate in a World AIDS Day event (see p. 26), and send a contribution to one of our local HIV/AIDS organizations. But above all, protect yourself. It takes more than wearing a red ribbon to stop the spread of AIDS. There is no excuse. No one is immune.

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 25th anniversary.