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Author Topic: SHOULDN'T EVERYDAY BE WORLD AIDS DAY?  (Read 1301 times)

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Offline bentfeather

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« on: December 04, 2009, 12:25:21 PM »
December 1st was World AIDS Day.  I had the wonderful honor of speaking at Missouri State University, and honestly feel I reached a few people.  I also had the distinct privilege of meeting and talking with Brryan Jackson, a phenomenal young man with a mission.  This was my first time ever coming forward publicly and sharing my story.  It was difficult at first, but I felt it needed to be done, and almost wish I'd come forward sooner.

The problem with that is the stigma HIV/AIDS carries with it.  The last time I divulged this information, I was threatened, told I should be taken behind a barn and shot, ostracized by my "friends", shunned by the majority of my family, evicted from a house I was renting, disowned by my father and judged by so-called Christians, not to mention the jobs I lost for being honest about my condition.

Stigma is the reason there are so many people running around with HIV without getting tested.  You mention HIV/AIDS, and all conversation drops to a conspiratorial whisper.  However, people can discuss HPV (Human Papillomavirus), Herpes and Hepatitis somewhat comfortably without batting an eye.  Sadly, these viruses are biologically parallel with HIV, relatives in a way, and yet there is not so much stigma attached to them.

The fastest growing group of people newly infected with HIV/AIDS is the 14-24 year old age group.  The second fastest growing group are the 50+ folks, thanks to a little blue miracle-pill called Viagra.

We are at a ten year high of newly reported HIV/AIDS cases.  I contribute this to the stigma that follows each of us around.  If people were more informed and less judgemental, more people would get tested earlier, BEFORE they have full-blown AIDS, could get more effective treatment and would probably be more inclined to contact their Senators and Representatives for more funding towards research and education.

We, the people, have let the government handle this problem, poorly, long enough.  They've had almost 30 years to do something, and as with everything else, something else came along and the real problem was put on the back burner, to be forgotten.

WE, The PEOPLE, are responsible for making "We, the People" mean something again.  These fat-cat bureaucrats have been doing nothing long enough!  25 years of ignorance is inexcusable!  The monies all keep going up the line, each fat-cat taking their cut, and very little, if anything, trickles back down to where it's needed.

In the late 80's I attended 7 funerals of close friends in just 12 weeks.  Things started to slow down, because this disease was on every talk show and news program.  Once that ended, things started all over again.  I am no longer afraid of the stigma anymore.  I can always make a new friend if I have to, but I can never replace those that have died because of fear or ignorance, and I have had enough.

We, the people, need to make a stand and let our government know, "Enough is enough!"  There are a lot more of us "poor people" than there are rich.  If we would just realize this and pull together, we can make the changes our founding fathers meant us to make!  It's time for  revolution.  A revolution at the voting booths and polls! Our numbers are stronger than theirs!  Let's stop the bull, and put one of our own in office and be the change we want to see!

I'm not a politician, nor am I perfect, but I feel I have to start this ball rolling.  To stand idly by and just watch things get worse, no matter how much I want change, would make me as guilty as those I convict of apathy and ignorance today!  I no longer have anything to hide, nor do I have much left to lose.  But, if this works, WE THE PEOPLE have a world of hope to gain, and we can take back the things that once made this a great country!

Sure, there will be those of you that think this is taboo, or too personal.  To that I can only say  "Shame on you!" It shouldn't be taboo, and it is personal! It should be personal.  At the rate things are going, if something isn't done, and soon, it will become personal for everyone.  It's no longer just possible, or even probable.  It's inevitable.

I ask you to please, PLEASE become a part of the solution. Remember, those that are running things are doing so because they showed up. And if you're not at the table, you are on it!

If you have any questions, ask. If I don't know the answers, I will do what I can to find them. All I know for sure is ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

Offline Andy Velez

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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2009, 04:25:15 PM »
Hi Bent,

I've moved this to Off Topic as LIVING WITH is more focused on specific issues living with HIV and other members had commented about that.

Welcome and cheers.
Andy Velez


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