I lost a friend last week; someone, like me, who battled HIV and other illnesses for a very long time. He was an amazing person who was there when you needed him. He never complained of his own ailments; he often asked, “What can I do to help you.” For those of us who have survived the early days of this pandemic, we remember. We remember what it was like to lose many of our friends. We remember what it was like when there was no hope: when HIV ravished our bodies, our minds, and our souls. We remember planning our friend’s funerals, planning our own funerals. We definitely have come a long way in the battle against HIV/AIDS. Today, some believe, that HIV is a somewhat manageable disease. You take a couple of pills, you practice safer sex, and you go on with your life. We cannot forget the people who came before us; the people who put their lives on the line to enter clinical trials and test new medications. The people who marched in protest hoping someone would listen. The people who made it possible for YOU to survive today. All the medications, programs, and support that are available today are because of the people that came before you. The hundreds of thousands of people who fought for survival, who stood up for their rights and yours, the people who are no longer with us; remember them. Take a moment today and remember. Remember those that came before you. Think about those people in other countries that do not have access to medication, those that do not have access to health care. Be grateful for all you have! I remember my friend, may he rest in peace.
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