Wednesday, December 01, 2004

World AIDS Day 2004

Okay, so I don't often ask anyone who reads my blather to think about much of anything. I mean, who would really want to read it if that were the case, right?

But today is different. World AIDS Day. Please think about that. Why? Well, aside from the obvious reasons, like the fact that this worldwide pandemic shows no signs of slowing (helloooooo...), this is a very personal issue for me.

Now, almost 25 years into the pandemic, most people have either lost at least one loved one to AIDS or know someone who has. My cousin, Michael Kevin Barry, died from AIDS-related complications on August 23, 1989, at the age of 34. That seemed so old to me at the time, but he was only two years older than I am now. He was and still is the most amazing, kind, piss-your-pants hilarious, talented, beautiful person I've ever known. Now he's a patch on the ever-expanding AIDS quilt. My family never really recovered from the loss.

Tons of Michael's friends have died since then. The rest are all HIV+, as are many of my friends. The great thing is, the research is WORKING. Huge strides have been made...there are highly effective drug therapies available, and researchers are learning more about the virus and how it works all the time.

BUT...you can still get it, probably more easily than you think. And you can still die from it, contrary to what seems to be becoming popular belief. So, um, use condoms and stuff. Educate yourself. Pay attention. Donate cash if you've got it, and your time if you don't, to organizations like ACT UP and The HIV/AIDS Information Outreach Project (or BCAP and Project Angel Heart, for those of you in Colorado.)

You can even click here, and Kenneth Cole will donate a dollar to AIDS research. That's easy enough, right?

Tomorrow I'll go back to complete nonsense and abject retardation for your entertainment, I promise. Thanks for at least humoring me in the meantime.

Support World AIDS Day

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