Reply to "AIDS turns 20"

Thank you Ted & Di for posting this.

I have been gravely concerned about the recent negative change in people's attitudes towards preventing the spread of HIV. I hate to see the equivilent of russian roulette being played by people I care about. Some people get sick after many exposures, some after only one.

There is no cure. There may not be a cure ever. This is not to be alarmist, this is what the medical journals are saying.

Sure, you can take drugs now that will prolong your life. You need to take them at the same times and in the same sequence every day. You need to eat at so many hours before, so many after. You take drugs to counteract the nausea that the other drugs give you. They're extremely expensive. You can NEVER stop taking them if you want to continue living.

If you don't care about yourself, and allow yourself to get infected, then you will infect other people, in effect slowly ruining other's lives and slowly killing them.

How are you affected by the friends and lovers you've already lost? If you allow yourself to get sick, you are consciously causing more of the same grief and loss for those who love and care about you.

There is no excuse for contracting and spreading this disease through sexual contact today. Everyone knows how to prevent it. If you don't care about yourself, for God's Sake, please care about others.

I am writing this for a very selfish reason, I want my friends to all outlive me. It grieves me that I see some of you working very hard to go before me. And it's a really hard, hard way to go.

Please take a look at your behavior and be honest with yourself about the risks you're taking. Ask yourself why you are risking your life so casually. It really does get better as you get older. Give yourself a chance to get there and find out for yourself.

Finally, when temptation arises, as it always will, remind yourself that No Sexual Experience Is Worth Your Life.

With The Best Intentions And All My Heartfelt Love,