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Author Topic: September Column, "Sierra Vista To Hold First AIDS Walk"  (Read 2239 times)

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Offline Moffie65

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  • Posts: 1,755
  • Living POZ since 1983
September Column, "Sierra Vista To Hold First AIDS Walk"
« on: September 28, 2006, 11:16:56 AM »
Well, I don't know how many are interested, but as promissed, here is the column I had published Tuesday.

AIDS Walk, 2006

In the beginning of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, AIDS walks came into being to pay respects to those very many who had succumbed to this virus and at the same time, they were used to raise money for those AIDS service organizations that were helping people with HIV/AIDS, to cope with the disease, and to help educate the population about how to be safe from this disease.

Here in Sierra Vista, there has never been an AIDS walk, but on October 21st, that is going to change.  BorderLand AIDS Services Team, BLAST, and the NAACP are working together to bring the first ever AIDS Walk to Sierra Vista.  It will be held at Tompkins Park, from 7am to noon.  We encourage all of you who have been personally touched by this disease, and everyone else, to come out and do a few laps of the park, which is .6 miles around.  It will be a good way to get your exercise on that day, and at the same time, show your support for the work of HIV and those who have passed with this infection.  If you have difficulty walking, bring your own Mobility Device to ride, or there will be one there for your use.  I know that many of you have had friends and relatives that have died from the effects of AIDS, and this is a perfect opportunity to remember them and at the same time, help those people that make it their work to help keep HIV/AIDS under control here in Cochise County.

In other news, the CDC aims to place into effect a new policy of mandatory testing for the whole U.S. population.  Not a bad idea based on the poor response that the population at large has shown for this very important and simple test.  Data has shown that even in populations where the incidence of HIV is in the .01% range, mandatory testing has proven very effective in keeping the pandemic under limited control.  One of the sticky points of this new policy is who is going to pay for mandatory testing, as the mandate is not a funded one.  Also, the previously mandated counseling that goes along with testing currently will be dropped, and the test will be handled as a medical procedure only.  Agencies and policy makers are still in discussions about this new mandate, and the details have not been ironed out just yet, but by the end of October, some mandatory HIV testing policy will be in place. 

For some perspective on testing, I would like to take you back a few years.  In 1981, when there was no test available, there were calls from the very highest levels of government to send all Gay people with HIV to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, and in that way, isolate the spread of the virus.  Well, needless to say, that didnít happen, and research continued, until the test was perfected, and FDA approved, in 1985.  At that time, making testing mandatory was tantamount to individual discrimination, and could have resulted in people loosing their jobs or homelessness; consequently, testing has always been up to the person themselves.  Focusing on the Gay Community was not the problem as the virus has always infected more Heterosexuals than Homosexuals, when data is viewed globally.  Globally, there are currently an estimated 40,000,000 people living with HIV, and of those, only about 10% are from the Gay Community.  This reflects the estimated percentage of Gays in the population anyway.

I have always felt that mandatory testing was the only answer to getting this virus under control, and if it was not connected to sexual contact, I feel like it would have been done years ago.  Imagine if there were a test for bird flu, and it was spreading across the heartland of this country; I would imagine that the test would become mandatory on day one.  This is no different, but since HIV is so insidious, and can live inside the body for up to 12 years while showing no symptoms; it only stands to reason that the policy should have incorporated mandatory testing years ago.  I have been a proponent of mandatory HIV testing for about 10 years.  That is when it is estimated that the virus crossed over from the Gay Community in the United States, to the population at large. 

Thanks for reading.
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline Lwood

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  • Here's Lookin At You....
Re: September Column, "Sierra Vista To Hold First AIDS Walk"
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2006, 03:12:08 PM »
I remember the calls for people with HIV to be Quarantined, But I didnt know about the Guantanimo bay part..
thats in interisting bit of HIV history....who was the asshole behind That idea??
"Fortunately, I Keep My T Cells Numbered For Just Such An Emergency"
  -Either Foghorn Leghorn or Johnny Cash

Offline Moffie65

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  • Posts: 1,755
  • Living POZ since 1983
Re: September Column, "Sierra Vista To Hold First AIDS Walk"
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2006, 05:53:34 PM »
Ronnie Ray-gun Administration
« Last Edit: September 28, 2006, 05:55:26 PM by Moffie65 »
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline Eldon

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,664
Re: September Column, "Sierra Vista To Hold First AIDS Walk"
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2006, 10:57:08 PM »
Hello Moffie,

Please DO keep us informed as to how the first AIDS Walk goes in Sierra Vista. Also, if possible, take some pictures if you can.

Mandatory HIV testing? What about our International travelers to the States?

Make the BEST of each Day!


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