This is what happened: Dwana tweeted about the GiveForward Life Fund she organized on my behalf. Then someone tweeted to me, and Dwana, that HIV/AIDS has practically been eradicated. My gut reaction was a curse deep within but I let the moment pass and this morning I tweeted in response to her misinformation and I didn't curse!
Setting this thought aside for the moment, the thing that really left me puzzled about this woman's tweet is that her Twitter profile says that she is an advocate for Autism; her son is Autistic. This is a woman who deals with health challenges everyday. So why would she dismiss someone else's pain and write their illness off to simple pharmaceutical companies profit? I wondered what portions of the medical community benefits from her son's condition and how she would feel to be dismissed as simply a profit. I've never been one to dismiss someone else's journey. Pain is pain no matter how different the pain may be. Then I wondered did she even click on the link that Dwana tweeted about me and the GiveForward Fund or did she just casually tweet Dwana.
Then I wondered who on her timeline agreed with her tweet. I've learned that like-minded people tend to follow each other on Twitter. As the saying goes, 'birds of a feather flock together'. I don't know this woman but I know that she is ignorant to the facts of HIV/AIDS. Maybe she spends so much time dealing with her son's health, she doesn't have time to read. But you would think that if a person really doesn't know what they are talking about they would keep their damn mouth closed.
The fact is, in addition to the health issues that come with HIV, people living with HIV have to deal with the shame, isolation, stigma and discrimination; I will never forget being denied that tattoo 7 years ago because I have HIV. We have to deal with fear of rejection and yes, actual rejection - not just the fear of it, and we have to live with being dismissed by people like Ren Cook every day of our lives.
Finally, I think people living with any health condition deserve to be loved and validated rather than dismissed simply as a payday for pharmaceutical companies. I think the world would be a better place if we validated people's pain with the love of God and help to make life better for them, rather then dismiss or judge them. #justsayin
Post Script: There are 15 more hours to donate to my GiveForward Life Fund. The fund will end at 12:00 Midnight today. Again, I receive all the funds less 7% in 5 days. 5% goes to the GiveForward for operations and 2% goes to credit card fees. Again, thanks to everyone who has donated so far. I'm touched by your sacrifice - but your comments have made my life sacrifice even more meaningful. Thanks for sharing... Click Here to Donate!