Thursday, November 26, 2009

December 1st is World AIDS Day

In the June of 1981 I went to New York for the weekend with a group of friends to celebrate Pride. I read a story in The Village Voice about a rare cancer, kaposi sarcoma, afflicting gay men in the city. These vibrant young men soon developed pneumocystis pneumonia and wasted away. Life expectancy in the early days of what was then called the "gay plague" was 18 - 24 months from diagnosis, but many didn't last that long.

There was no name for it then and no one knew what caused it. Today we call it HIV/AIDS and although medications have saved lives and made the disease manageable, there is still no cure.

"Each year, we mark World AIDS Day on December 1st. World AIDS Day is an opportunity to remember those we have lost to the pandemic and to resolve anew our battle against this deadly killer.
The World Health Organization announced recently that HIV/AIDS is the number one cause of disease and death among women ages 18-49 worldwide. AIDS has already taken the lives of 25 million people and 33 million more are estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS around the world today."
The Metropolitan Community Church of the Blue Ridge will be holding a special candle light service on Tuesday, December 1st at 6:30 pm in memory of those we have lost and to help raise awareness that there is so much more to be done. MCC is located at 806 Jamison Ave., SE in Roanoke.
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