We're twenty-five years into the pandemic now. The meds are better, some people are living longer (emphasis on some), and somehow, people seem to feel safer from it.
But hello, duh, AIDS still kills people. It hasn't gone away. And in spite of the fact that we know how not to, people are still getting infected. It makes me angry. It's unnecessary. We need to take better care of ourselves. I could spend all day on the reasons we don't, but instead, here are some numbers* for you to consider.
-People with HIV/AIDS in NYC as of 6/30/05: 96,829
-AIDS-related deaths in NYC, January-June 2005: 973
-People with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa as of 12/05: 24.5 million
-AIDS-related deaths in Africa, 2005: 2 million (estimated)
-African children orphaned by AIDS since 1981: 12 million
-People living with AIDS in NYC, presently recovering in the hospital from an extremely painful and awful AIDS-related illness and subsequent surgery, whom Helen Damnation happens to love very, very much and worry about pretty much constantly:
Just one. But that's more than enough.
You don't have to donate money.
You don't have to adopt an AIDS orphan from Africa.
You don't have to do anything to help fight AIDS, except USE A FUCKING CONDOM, AND GET YOURSELF TESTED. How difficult is that, exactly?
In New York City, you can get info on free and confidential testing here.
This is the one day a year that my soapbox comes out.
Thanks for reading.
Please do your part.
*Statistics compiled from the NYC Health Department and the UNAIDS/WHO 2006 report on the global AIDS epidemic. I ain't makin' this shit up.