Even with the abundance of information in today’s world, many people hear the word AIDS and chalk it up as a “gay disease”. This unprejudiced and devastating disease affects people of all ages, ethnicities and sexual orientations. In 1991, basketball Hall of Famer, Earvin “Magic” Johnson shocked the world by announcing that he tested positive for HIV as a result of unprotected heterosexual sex. We were slapped into reality with the ugly proof that AIDS spares no one.
I was teenager when the first few cases of AIDS were identified in the U.S. in 1981. During those early days, much was unknown and misinformation was rampant. I don’t recall AIDS awareness or prevention being taught in our school system as it thankfully has been in my children’s. Even though this generation has never known a world without AIDS, we still need programs in place that will reach our children before they start experimenting with sex, alcohol and drugs and the less commonly associated opportunity for transmission – tattooing and piercing in establishments that don’t follow safe sterilization procedures.
Over two decades and countless lives later, there is still no “cure” for AIDS. We’ve made progress in available treatments, yet many literally cannot afford to live. We desperately need your help to fight this disease, and today, I am asking for just that. Please help support the AIDS foundation of your choice by donating or volunteering. By now, either you or someone you know has lost a loved one to AIDS. I’ve listed a few organizations below that could use your support as well as additional sources for AIDS/HIV awareness.