Those of us who tackled the AIDS epidemic head-on are facing a new plague -- the one that likely killed Spencer Cox. As yet unnamed, it manifests in aimlessness, depression, broken relationships, substance abuse, unsafe sex and suicide.
This death hit us hard. We have grappled to make sense of it. Why did he stop his meds? What role did his struggle with crystal meth play? Was this a failure of community? Are there lessons we can learn? These aren't just nosy questions by idle bystanders.
AIDS has always been creative in its cruelty. And it has learned to reach through the decades with the second-hand tools of disillusionment and depression and heart-numbing traumas, or, more to the point, using the simple weapon of crystal meth, with all its seductions and deceits.