Quote of the week:

“They'd have to shoot me to get me back to Illnois."

~Abraham Lincoln upon going to WDC to become president

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Second Annual World AIDS Day Post

Preface: “The road of good intentions is paved with”—what’s the rest of that saying? My intent was to have this posted for the 20th Annual World AIDS Day commemoration and my 2nd Annual on December 1. I started writing it last week. Then the universe intervened and I’ve been in bed the past two days feeling like shit with a fever vacillating between 99 – 102. It’s currently at the lower side. But it messed up my plans for a timely post. So here it is, a gay late and a dollar short, typed in bed on my laptop between the sweats and chills and naps.

Since I wrote my first post last year ( http://randomthawghts.blogspot.com/2007/11/world-aids-day-december-1_28.html ) I now can call this my “Second Annual World AIDS Day Post”. With some frequency, I will have someone come to me a work with a proposal for a new educational program with the proposed title, “First Annual…” I’m continually trying to explain to physicians that you can’t have a “First Annual “ anything. For something to be an annual event, it has to have occurred AT LEAST once, the year previously. But I digress.
I’m hopeful that the new administration will see the HIV/AIDS epidemic as the public health issue that it is and NOT a moral issue. Yes, W has acknowledged the world wide catastrophe that AIDS is. Yet on the national front, HIV prevention and education funding still lapses.
Needle exchange IS a proven HIV prevention method.
Safe sex and condom use is essential for prevention of disease transmission.
Making condoms available in prisons prevents disease transmission.
News flash: telling prisoners not to have sex is just as effective is was for Sarah Palin’s daughter.
A pointy hat, satin robe, and ruby Prada shoes are not qualifications for making pronouncements about public health and convincing people to not practice safe sex out of some archaic and arcane obligation. The question these people really need to ask, seriously, “WWJD”? Then they need to step back and let people who know public health do their jobs without religion.
The thing that is still increasingly disturbing (and increasing in incidence) is the rate raising rate of new HIV infections among young gay men. Earlier this Fall, I attended an luncheon lecture as part of GLTB week surrounding National Coming Out Day. At the end, the presenters took questions. I raised the question, “What has our generation done wrong, in that the safe sex message did not transfer down to the new generation of gay men?” While the advent of the drug cocktails have been some of the best things to happen, I think we became complacent with the original safe sex message. It lost some of its importance. The message somehow became, “It doesn’t matter if you get infected, you just go on the cocktail.” The thing I just can’t wrap my brain around is how some view becoming HIV positive as a ‘right of passage’ in the progression of fully becoming a gay man. My generation really has fucked up, when we’ve allowed this to become one of the prevailing messages that we bequeathed to the current generations. We have to leave a better legacy.

Post Script
Any portion of this that doesn’t make sense, I blame on the fever and apologize.
Any portion of this that you may find offensive, I attribute to my abrasive nature and make no apologies.

1 comment:

GDad said...

Since becoming fathers, GPop and I have not gotten out much, so we're not too connected with the community at the moment. I can't imagine what kind of idiocy would make being a "bug catcher" sound like something fun. Those drugs are harsh, and there's no guarantee that they will continue to work as the virus mutates.