Thirty years ago, the CDC reported the first cases of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. Initially thought to be a disease of gay white men, AIDS is now a global epidemic. Thirty-three million people worldwide were living with AIDS in 2010, with sub-Saharan Africa bearing the brunt.
We, the LGBT community and our allies, will not stand for this anymore. Throngs of us will descend on Soldier Field on Sept. 30, lift our voices and walk our miles to save the lives of our brothers and sisters.
On Saturday, August 11, we reflect on the first meeting of Gay Men's Health Crisis' six founders in a living room. We think of the horrors they experienced, the courage they summoned as new activists and their historic legacy.
Is there truly the political will, the communal will, and the global funding to really change the course of this epidemic to get to where we need to be? While HIV is still not curable, it is treatable and certainly preventable.
In the past the Church has unfortunately missed many opportunities to reach out in compassion to those living with HIV/AIDS. But now that is changing; the Church is accepting and loving them and using their local organizational influence to make a difference.
I'm the first to admit I'm not your typical Fire Island Pines visitor. I go to the legendary gay enclave as founding director of Dancers Responding to AIDS. But even more, I go because my heart still breaks when I learn of friends who have recently tested positive for HIV.
While such support is a necessary and honorable, the SnagFIlms documentary Out of Control: The AIDS Epidemic in Black America shows us how AIDS continues to be a deeply damaging disease in the United States, and more specifically, in the Black Community.
After three long decades that changed AIDS from a gay to universal disease, the entire country should join LGBT people join at the Washington Monument to reassert our commitment to AIDS prevention, treatment and, above all, cure.
To honor my late family, I have opted to speak out on AIDS. Change begins with me. I am on a personal campaign to encourage women to get tested and to replace ignorance with knowledge; shame with liberty.
We Were Here has taken me on an incredible journey of rediscovery -- of forgotten details of terrible suffering, of moments of extraordinary generosity, but, mostly, of a kind of bewilderment that this whole nightmare actually happened.