One reason some find repulsive the idea that the '80s were awesome
Today is World AIDS Day. There is a lot more hope these days than there has been in recent memory, but AIDS isn't over and having HIV is not nothing. (I hesitated posting a humorous AIDS piece everyone is posting because in it, it's explicitly stated that if you have HIV you're "okay." I get the point that having HIV doesn't mean your life ends and thankfully many people with HIV live healthy lives for decades, but it made me uncomfortable that the message seemed to be it would be almost inconsequential.)
As long as there are people like this:
AIDS will not stop being a consequential issue. Or a metaphor.
I have to say I'm very lucky so far. I put myself into a couple of wildly unsafe situations at the beginning of my sexual career—I could easily have gotten HIV and back then might not have lived to see all the medical improvements. Since then, I have not exactly abstained. Also, while I do know people who are HIV-positive, I haven't had any close friends die of AIDS. At my age, I think that's the exception.
But not knowing people personally hasn't stunted my concern, and knowing there are people who don't take it seriously or who blithely dismiss HIV and AIDS in the face of all the people who have died—so many in the early waves who never even had a chance and suffered the worst—baffles and saddens me. Aren't we all in this together? Maybe we never are.
I remain hopeful for a vaccine and a cure.