December 1st is World AIDS Day. Last night my daughter Robyn and I attended Staten Island’s World AIDS Day commemoration. We marched in the candlelight vigil as I explained to Robyn that we march and light candles to remember those who have died of illness and those who still need our help.
My experiences with HIV/AIDS have crossed the barrier of twenty years. During those twenty years I have seen the despair of the 1980’s and the early 90’s where so very little was able to help those desperate for any kind of hope for survival. I have witnessed too much death, especially in those early years, that no human soul should suffer and I have watched the grace of God work its magic as I held many a hand of those who were breathing their last breath and passed on into the hereafter.
I have been a witness to the many miracles of the pharmaceuticals that have brought many who were on the very precipice of life back into a life full with verve and promise. The years have slipped away and not without a continuing march of loss and hope.
All those twenty years ago I dedicated a good part of myself towards assuring that I would forever be an advocate in this battle against an illness and a discrimination that continues to astound me. As World AIDS Day approaches I am asking and imploring all of you to think about the millions of men, women and children across this great world of ours afflicted with HIV/AIDS and anyone you may know personally living with the illness or who has passed on. You can make a difference every day by not forgetting any of them and standing up against discrimination in any form.
Your kindness, love, and attention to this issue matters greatly to me.
Thank you for reading this and have a great weekend.