Compare and contrast: Ebola vs. AIDS, Obama vs. Reagan. Anyone who continues to defend President Reagan's response to AIDS is ignoring a history of gross negligence compared with the response to other disease outbreaks in the U.S.
It was 1989, and I'd just told a former boyfriend that I was taking a break from my fundraising consulting practice to become the development director at Chicago House, a residential program for people living with AIDS. He was right: Nothing ruined the evening like telling a guy where I worked.
Coming to Britain at the same time as David France's How to Survive a Plague, the arrival of Jonas Gardell's Don't Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves may represent a moment in our culture when sufficient time has elapsed for reflection and reconciliation, and also, I think, a renewal of anger.
Lesley was my closest friend to become sick in the 1980s, and he fought bravely until his death from AIDS. I will not dig up Lesley's body and beat young gay men with his corpse. Lesley did not perish so that I could use him as a scare tactic. He wasn't a cautionary tale. He wasn't a martyr.
Just like in any battle, some of the long-term survivors of HIV can sometimes hold a bit of resentment toward those who avoided the worst part of the fight. And this sentiment is quite understandable. The early days of HIV are comparable to very few other epidemics in modern history.
"It was profound, and admittedly a little nutty, but more importantly, it was one of the first times I realized something about myself as an actor: I am deeply committed to the work; I am very particular about the conveyance of the playwright's truths, be they fact or fiction."
What Larry Kramer, inspired so profoundly by Hannah Arendt, demonstrated is that the importance of our voices -- of speaking our minds and our truths, of organizing, of acting up and out -- can mean the difference between life and death. Which brings us to the situation in Russia.
Most of my young gay friends are uninterested in the history of my membership in ACT UP, but a few, like Jake, are curious, even insistent. I answer their questions and try to explain what it was like to be 25 in the East Village in 1989.
Spencer Cox's death triggered an awareness that remaining unconnected (and silent) was no longer effective in dealing with the trauma and sorrow of the AIDS crisis. So former members will converge on a Greenwich Village club to reconnect -- and perhaps settle on a strategy.
I reached out to both those who directly faced the onslaught of HIV/AIDS and those who are younger who have never known a world without it, to find out how 32 years of HIV/AIDS have affected their lives. Here are 32 voices on the 32nd year of AIDS.
Many of us AIDS-generation survivors in some way have unprocessed grief, or guilt, or an overwhelming sense of abandonment from a gay community that turned its back on us and increasingly stigmatizes us, all in an attempt to pretend that AIDS isn't its problem anymore.
Recently I attended a forum titled "Is This My Beautiful Life?" It focused on the veterans of the front lines of AIDS: activists and survivors. Like veterans of Vietnam and Iraq, many have not fully recovered. I seem to have. However, there's a deep grief that fills my heart.
All of us who were in the trenches of the AIDS war are today dealing with the grief and the survivor guilt. Many are grappling with deeper scars and something akin to post-traumatic stress. But unlike for veterans of other wars, there isn't any built-in support system for us.
Major philanthropists are ignoring the continuing AIDS crisis in the United States. Why is HIV no longer a top priority among those with the means to do something about a still-spreading disease that can only be held at bay with costly medications and cannot be cured? People are dying.
In 2008 we began to help our students' caretakers, their elderly grandmothers. What began as a handful of guardians has blossomed into a program assisting over 6,200 grannies who are self-organized into 91 groups in three districts.
If the pope can increase the number of men who use condoms, if he can take "a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility," he will have done something. Which is, at least, not nothing.