… and I can’t believe we’re still having this discussion. Over 30 states have enacted laws, in varying draconian levels, criminalizing HIV and AIDS. The following video tells the story of three people, two men and one woman, who unjustly will bear the burden of the hysteria and prejudice that gave spawn to these heinous
With December 1st being World AIDS Day, and all the pretty words (don’t get me started!) coming from our Conciliator in Chief and Secretary of State – Mommie Dammit can not help but be dumbfounded at the gross injustice and sheer hypocrisy of these laws. I have no words for the anger I feel that these abortions of reason and justice were created in the first place, let alone that they are allowed to continue.
Isn’t it enough that HIV positive people and people with AIDS must carry the burden of your ignorance and fear? Isn’t the stigma that goes with a “positive” diagnosis crushing enough? I did not contract HIV because I was whoring around, nor did I contract it from a needle. I am host to my uninvited microscopic guests because one of those condoms you’re so hot for split during sex, and the man I was having sex with – as well as myself – had tested “negative” less than 6 months before. So many of us went around thinking we were free and clear during that era, only to horribly discover years or months later that the test was wrong. Such is the fate of Mommie Dammit. To the best of the knowledge of the science of the early ’90’s, I’d been carrying the virus for about 3 years. Hidden away inside me were the seeds of ruin, and they kept hiding through my next 5 tests! When the unwanted guests finally decided to crash my party it ruined not only my health, but my life, my career, many of my friendships, and what was left of my relationship with a large portion of my family.
I bear the weight of the stigma, the weight of your fear and ignorance, the plethora of side-effects of my medications, and the knowledge that – in spite of my will and the best medical science – this disease will eventually kill me. Thanks to the herculean efforts of researchers and scientists the world wide that time has been extended, and I have held the inevitable at bay for nearly 22 years. Twenty two years in which I have carried your weight. Twenty two years of vomiting, pain, diarrhea, neuropathy, rashes, insomnia and lethargy. Twenty two years of being treated like a leper by the same community of Gay men that I have fought to protect for more than 30 years. Twenty two years of bureaucratic bullshit, spiraling costs, and far too few truly talented physicians and nurses. Twenty two years of watching any chance for founding and developing a relationship go spiraling down the toilet because even HIV positive men are paranoid and/or ignorant. And now WE are the criminals, placed on the same rung as pedophiles and rapists because of your ignorance and fear. Thank you. Thank you so very fucking much. It’s a good thing the Gods gifted me with broad shoulders and an adamantium will. Without them I wouldn’t be able to carry my own burdens – let alone yours.