Wednesday, June 1, 2011

AIDS At Thirty

On June 5, 1981, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the first known cases of what would soon be known as AIDS.  In its report the CDC told of five men hospitalized in Los Angeles with a rare strain of pneumonia.  Two other men had already died.
The report included this statement:  "The fact that these patients were all homosexuals suggests an association between the pneumonia they developed and some aspect of a homosexual lifestyle or disease acquired through sexual contact.
And so it began.
Over thirty million people have died of AIDS related causes.   That's a million a year since the CDC issued its report.
How has HIV/AIDS changed your life?
Who was the first person you knew by name to become infected?
My friend Bob lived with AIDS for over twenty years always expecting it to kill him.  It never did but because he was convinced he was dying of AIDS he did a whole lot of other reckless things and one of those did kill him.  If he could comment on that irony he would doubtless say that he'd do it all over again to show AIDS it lost at least its battle with him.
And he definitely on this day would not sing happy birthday.

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