World AIDS Day – December 1, 2017
It’s been more than 30 years that the world has known HIV/AIDS.
I remember so many days when there was so little hope. So many people, friends and otherwise, who succumbed to the disease early, before anyone really knew what it was, before people knew how to be safe, and before there were therapies that gave hope to those that were ill.
I remember the shame and despair that engulfed many when they were diagnosed as ‘positive’.
Better than that, I remember the hope that the first few drug therapies gave to the afflicted. After that, the fear that losing insurance, and the ability to pay for the therapies, transcended the fear of death.
Now there are many good drug therapies, so much available information on safe sex, and many programs to provide clean needles to addicts. At one time I thought that entire continents might be wiped out for lack of funding to provide care, but the tide has been at least somewhat turned by funding and free / low cost treatments.
While there still is no cure, nor any fully viable vaccine, there is hope in that direction as well.
The thing that saddens me now is that some of the next generation is going to have to learn the hard way. What we don’t go through ourselves seems unimportant, or at least distant. Rather than try to go through statistics, if you’re interested, take a look at this site.
Every year on World AIDS Day (and every other day of the year) I pray for those suffering with HIV and AIDS. I pray I don’t have to find out another friend is ill. I pray there will be no more people sentenced to a life of treatment, or worse, because of a night of unsafe sex. I hope I don’t have to hold another person’s hand as he dies of this disease.
That’s probably not how it will go, but everyone should have hope, right?