Today marks the 29th annual World AIDS Day and I'm so grateful to still be here to participate! Myself and and countless others have survived an infection that is trying to take us out 24/7 and I thank God for the much improved meds we have today. I remember all the friends I lost, the ones who passed away right before the birth of the new ARV's in the mid 90's and I wished they could have held on just a bit longer, maybe they'd be here today. I miss them so much, especially my partner Dennis who passed in 2008. WAD has become a more celebratory day of living than it was 20+ years ago when we used to light a candle at the People With AIDS Coalition on Long Island for each and every person who we knew and loved gone from the complications of AIDS and the list was so long it took hours and the tears that were shed.. Tonight I will go as I do every year to our Ryan White Care Network Planning Council's WAD event. It's become much more pleasant though we still light candles in remembrance of those no longer with us. Maybe some day WAD will become a much different day, no one living with HIV anymore. Imagine that! But if and when that day comes and even after we will never forget!