Tuesday, December 12, 2006

21 Years of Knowledge that I am HIV+

Today is the 21st anniversary of having learned my HIV status in 1985. It was a different time then, but stigma, fear and ignorance still surround HIV/AIDS. I am trying to help change that by talking openly and honestly about my situation and by encouraging others to do so as well.

In June of this year, I founded the International Carnival of Pozitivities (ICP) to help bring HIV/AIDS back into the forefront of discussion. This forum is a place to learn the truth about HIV/AIDS, its prevention, treatment and direction.

Since the advent of the "cocktail", mainstream media and pharmaceutical marketing campaigns would have us believe that you can just take a pill or two and all will be well with you if you are HIV+. They do not talk about the estimate that it costs somewhere around $20K-$25K/year to keep an HIV+ person alive or that these pills can fail you if your virus mutates. They also do not stress that HIV treatment is, in effect, daily, never-ending chemotherapy. You may not lose your hair, but the side effects to these medications are intense and sometimes fatal in and of themselves, including kidney, liver and hormonal dysfunction. They do not tell us that the diseases that our parents would suffer from in their old age (diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, etc.) will quite possibly onset in us in our middle age. They will not discuss sex education, sexuality, prevention, or condom use, favoring instead a naive approach that advocates abstinence and fidelity.

There are estimates of about 40 million people infected with HIV/AIDS throughout the world. Some view HIV infection as a punishment, but I see it as a possibility. Please know your status, and please protect the ones you love. The fastest growing demographic group is that of heterosexual women of color between the ages of 25 and 44 years, but HIV/AIDS can happen to anyone.

I am lucky to be alive after 21 years. I would wish you enough good fortune not to have to live the life I have experienced.



Anonymous etbnc said...

I salute you, Ron-with-multiple-sides.

This deserves acknowledgement, but it's difficult for me to formulate a comment that adequately compliments all you've done with this post, the Pozitivities, and this blog.

You're doing a fine and worthy thing here, and I'm sure your readers continue to think good thoughts and do good deeds as a result. Do carry on...

12/12/2006 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Decelles said...

Good post Ron,

Maybe I am getting jaded but when you write:

"They will not discuss sex education, sexuality, prevention, or condom use, favoring instead a naive approach that advocates abstinence and fidelity."

I am not so sure the media and especially our current administration is being naive here. After since since sexuality is seen a sin, it would not surprize me if people aren't thinking well if you don't abstain and you get HIV then you somehow get what you deserve.

Why advocate anything else but abstinance and fidelity? After all sinners are going to hell any way so why bother doing anything to protect sinners?

I can't imagine any other rationale for NOT discussing the approaches you mention.

By the way what you say about mutation is not true in Kansas because the intelligent designer won't let the HIV virus mutate here. **eg**

12/13/2006 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger jay lassiter said...

god bless you brother. thanks for your longevity, and for archiving the struggle.
best, jay

12/14/2006 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Dharmashanti said...

Thank you for sharing your story, Ron. I long for the day when HIV/AIDS becomes extinct, the way other diseases have. Your efforts are making that a possibility.


Blog: http://themiseryconspiracy.blogspot.com
Web: http://www.dharmashanti.com

12/14/2006 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

Dear Ron...I hope and pray that your health continues, please take good care of yourself...You have survived because you have taken good care of yourself and others, and I can only hope and pray that the Next Regime will treat People and our Young with more respect and Truth, and recognize AIDS as the Health Crisis it is....Bless you or sharing your path with us and helping us learn more...Namaste.

( Stop by the Enigma Cafe this weekend I have a nice gift posted up for the Regulars).

12/15/2006 06:03:00 PM  

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