World AIDS Day

This disease will be the end of many of us, but not nearly all, and the dead will be commemorated and will struggle on with the living, and we are not going away. We won’t die secret deaths anymore. The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come.¬†Bye now. You are fabulous creatures, each and every one. And I bless you: More Life. The Great Work Begins.
-Angels in America
, Tony Kushner

One thing that surprises me, over and over and over again, is how very compressed the timeline of AIDS is. It reached plague levels in the 1980s; growing up in the ’90s and ’00s, it loomed large as a huge, terrifying specter in all my health classes. We knew you couldn’t get it from hugging or kissing or from toilet seats, but the message received was that you could still get it shockingly easily via sex or drug use or maybe, just maybe, blood transfusions. And now it’s — almost like it’s just another disease. Treatable. Preventable. Survivable.

This is mind-boggling. Continue reading