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Saturday, November 30, 2013

World Aids Day 2013

World AIDS Day is tomorrow, December 1. Human immunodeficiency virus infection/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) affects people's immune systems and exposes them to opportunistic diseases and infections that do not usually affect HIV-negative people.

According to USA Today, "As the international community gets set to mark the 25th annual observance of World AIDS Day next week, President Obama is facing renewed pressure from U.S. lawmakers and activists to take legacy-setting action to combat HIV/AIDS."

This is an affliction, so far without a cure, that has gone on too long. On a personal level, I have lost many friends and acquaintances (some close) to a disease that has been and remains an international tragedy, scourge and scandal.

New York City's own Dr. Frank Spinelli told QOC Radio, exclusively through me: "World aids day is a time for us to remember all of those we've lost to HIV as well as to acknowledge how far we've come in treating this disease. Do your part today. Get tested, use condoms and help stop the spread of HIV."

I still keep my '80s picture of my late, dear friend, Steve Newman and I on my bulletin board. His death of opportunistic pneumonia came swiftly, shockingly, but he is always in my heart. Steve was a very sensitive man, an artist and a Kentucky gentleman I am proud to call "friend." We were neighbors on the same floor on 26th St in Chelsea in the 1980s.
Bulletin board snapshot of my late friend Steve (l.) & I (r.) in the '80s

On the other hand, I have several friends who have been HIV-poz for some time but, due to advances in medicine, have been able to carry on with productive and healthy lives. I bless them and myself that they are in my lives still and going strong.

I urge everyone to play safe, stay safe and to commemorate World AIDS Day tomorrow.

I leave you with this beautifully written article by Chelsea Clinton today in the Los Angeles Times:

And this blog article by Dr Frank Spinelli from September:

Hope springs eternal. Press on for a cure!

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