Tuesday, December 1, 2009

World AIDS Day

Today, December 1, is World AIDS Day, a global day set aside to raise awareness and support the 33 million people living with HIV/AIDS. I don't need to emphasize all the ways HIV has changed over the past forty years or so since it came on the scene, nor the importance of awareness and, even more importantly, understanding of this often misunderstood disease (at least, I hope I don't). This is a cause that should belong not just to beneficent celebrities, gay icons, and liberal politicians; this is a cause that should belong to every single person on this planet.

This is a cause that means a great deal to me as well. As a gay male, I have a powerful understanding of the deadly ravages the disease did to the gay community in its early years, as well as how it continues to be one of the most important elements affecting the community in so many ways. But also as a human being, I share a stake in trying to defeat HIV/AIDS, and feel strongly that to do so requires not only prevention efforts (which make up the majority of high profile contributions to the fight, at least in the United States), but also efforts on behalf of the 33 million people worldwide who live with HIV/AIDS.

By "efforts" I mean medical (continuing search for a cure but especially the development of effective and affordable treatment options); political (repealing discriminatory policies and practices in immigration, health insurance, employment, legal rights, and so forth); and, equally if not more importantly, social and personal. This last, I believe, should include abandoning prejudicial, discriminatory and judgmental attitudes toward HIV+ persons, as well as the recognition of a third status label for those who are HIV+ but have undetectable viral loads and normal T-cell counts, who merit and require different considerations in many ways than those in whom the disease plays a more active role. That is not to suggest the former should be considered favorably over the latter, I should emphasize; however, the significant disparities that studies and science have revealed in very recent times as medication has allowed many people to thankfully occupy the former category that exist in matters of treatment, health, and transmission concerns.

But beyond any specifics, it is so important to have a day devoted to HIV/AIDS awareness. As you enjoy this red color-themed selection of pictures in honor of the color of World AIDS Day 2009, I hope you will also visit one or more of the websites listed at this link to find ways that you can learn, act, and give for this cause so important to the Adonis Complex blogs, to me, and to the world. Thank you.



  2. I would walk on water, multiply the bread and turn the world on to peace if only I could have any one of them dudes.



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