In case you are wondering
why AIDS stories are all over the news today, it’s because today is “World AIDS
Day.” So I’ll just chime in, because
when I’m not blog-bragging about my kids, I write for an organization that
serves AIDS patients.
It seems like AIDS is all
about Africa these days, and to a large extent that is true. The pandemic over there is overwhelming and
horrific, no doubt.
What concerns me locally,
however, is that folks seem to think that AIDS is no longer a problem in the U.S. With the
medications now available, I’m afraid that Americans regard HIV/AIDS as an
inconvenience or annoyance, like herpes or male-pattern baldness.
While the drugs slow the
course of the disease for those lucky enough to get them, people still die from
the effects of AIDS. And since health
care is far from universal, many HIV positive individuals receive no
treatment. Even with the drugs, the
disease still progresses. Some AIDS
patients develop dementia, and live the remainder of their lives with reduced
A lot of young people read
my blog, and this message is for them:
Be safe. Don’t let anyone
convince you there is nothing to worry about; there absolutely is. Use condoms.
Don’t shoot up. If you’re going
to shoot up, use a clean needle.
Protecting yourself is YOUR job.
No one will do it for you.