I don't remember hearing about AIDS back then and if I did with a name like GRID, I probably would have dismissed it in seconds. I mean I am a heterosexual woman and gay had nothing to do with me. And given the fact that I was trying to figure out where my next meal was coming from, a disease like this would have been the last thing on my mind. I mean at this point in my life, I hadn't had one sexually transmitted disease.
The medical community made this disease a scary boogie man that men did to each other and if you weren't one of them, then you were free. But none of that really matters today because in just two short years of those first cases, the summer of 1983, I had sex with a man and he infected me with HIV. And my life changed forever. I didn't know at the time and he probably didn't know at the time either. I wouldn't discover until the winter of 1986, a year after the HIV antibody test hit the market, that I was actually infected with HIV.
No, today the wish is not for me but for every person that does not have HIV today... My wish is that you never get HIV! The thing that we have known for almost this entire pandemic is the thing that gets overlooked the most: HIV is a preventable disease. We can change the course of this disease by changing our behavior.
We must put personal responsibility into the equation if we are to change the tide and not drown in this ugly disease. We must make condom use a normal, natural and vital part of our sex lives. We must understand one fundamental thing... The only sure winner against becoming HIV infected is either no sex or sex with a latex condom. Anything other then that is a stupid ass gamble. Honestly, I don't know if different information would have changed the course of my life. What I know for sure is that my life has been changed forever by AIDS...
tweeted today that people don't really understand me... The drum that I beat to or the song that I sing. I do what I must so that AIDS won't kill my spirit before it takes my life. Yes, I do what I must... No, this isn't the journey I would have wanted for myself but it is the journey that I've accepted with Grace.
Looking back 30 years later... My prayer today is not for me but for you... That you will never know my pain or walk in my shoes. HIV is preventable, this I also know for sure.