Tuesday, December 01, 2009

WAD 10

1. Today is World AIDS Day.

2. When I moved to NYC the era of AIDS activism was just beginning. During my first weeks of college every class had an element of AIDS education from Freshman English to Stage Management. Would that it were still thus.

3. Some may not remember that the level of shunning and panic over AIDS in the US in the 80s is comparable to what's happening in Africa now. Contrary to some belief that doesn't make us better than them, it just makes us further along in the process. What would make us better (not than them, just better) would be if we made it a priority to help stop the shunning and increase the education both here and there.

4. I remember disparate facts from those early lessons. It would take 4 gallons of infected saliva injected directly to an open wound to transmit the virus from one to another. The fastest growing demographic of HIV+ patients was women aged 18-24. "This is your best friend" (holding up right hand) "This is your best friend. THIS is your BEST friend!"

5. The organization I volunteer with on Thanksgiving is God's Love We Deliver. They were started in the 80s to deliver meals to home bound HIV and AIDS patients. Since their creation they have grown enough, and HIV medications have improved enough, that they now deliver meals to people with a wide variety of ailments that keep them at home.

6. Dionysas once told me, in glorious detail, how to apply a condom with one's mouth. I really wish I had that lesson on video.

7. I enjoyed the TV series, Life Goes On, but I was hooked on it for the high teen angst Chad Lowe storyline where he played Becky's HIV+ boyfriend.

8. Rent was, I believe, the first major play to address "living with not dying from" AIDS. It has become, I suspect (have no proof), the most commonly known media touchstone for that kind of education. Rent's creator, Jonathan Larson, died the night before his show opened at New York Theater Workshop perhaps of complications from HIV.

9. No, it turns out that Tony Kushner's Angels in America which addresses HIV and AIDS even more directly was first (1991 premiere) but is less widely known, even after a star studded HBO miniseries treatment.

10. You are not immune. And neither am I.


  1. I love this post. I just had a flashback to a movie with Alan Alda maybe about AIDS. Was it "And The Band Played On?" I can't remember...

    Great, great post.

  2. As a teen I used to say that if I told my Mom I was pregnant, her response would be "You put yourself at risk of getting AIDS?!!" She always does have her priorities in order.

    Really? I had not heard that about Larsen. I thought he had an undetected genetic condition; wasn't Adam and Anthony's final tour to raise money for that?

  3. I love that my peeps talk about this! It is so important, thank you!

    While I am not familiar with putting on a condom with one's mouth, I don't recommend it unless one only uses the lips to do so. It sounds like it could be fun though.

  4. Snob, yes it was And the Band Played On. It was originally a play that was made into a movie.

    JRH, it was a genetic condition but all these years I've been under the assumption that had he not been immuno-compromised they might have caught it in time to help him. I could be totally wrong but that's what I've always thought.

    Auntie, this is why I wish I had the lesson on tape. I thought the teeth thing would be a problem but he takes care of it, he's really careful not to compromise the integrity of the material. The smoothing out the air bubbles part gave me the tingles!