Monday, June 05, 2006
AIDS at 25

That's the name of a compelling new feature on MSNBC.com.

Thinking about AIDS makes me think about my life. I remember when the first information was coming out - "the gay cancer." Nobody really knew what was going on. I feel like I grew up with this disease in the background. On magazine covers. A teacher who died.

If you were diagnosed, you could kiss your life goodbye. There were no drugs like there are now. Today, people have AIDS and they live with it. It's not the death sentence it was.

I was reading about how it's such an epidemic in Africa, a place where men are reluctant to take protective measures. And I thought indignantly, "if they aren't willing to help themselves, why should the American taxpayer?"

And then I thought, "If people are behaving immorally, don't they deserve it?"

Then I was struck by a memory: A scared young woman in a clinic, waiting for her test results.

That was sobering.


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