[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
in the time it takes you to read this post…
if it comes up in conversation, i sometimes mention that my cousin is hiv positive.
more often than not, the response to the statement is “how did he get it?”
he is actually a she.
and, to my way of thinking, it doesn’t matter how she got it.
when my grandmother had cancer, no one asked me how she got it. truth is, she got it from smoking. but no one asked me.
it didn’t matter. the cancer was terminal. she was going to die from it. and that wasn’t going to be any different if she had gotten it from smoking, or from chemical exposure, or just from a lousy gene pool.
for the record, my cousin was born with a staggering myriad of birth defects. multiple surgeries, multiple blood transfusions. it was the late 80s. they still weren’t very good about testing blood then.
but it doesn’t matter how my cousin became hiv positive. she will die from it. and that wouldn’t be any different if she had become infected from sharing a needle or having unprotected sex. she will die from it just the same.
i’d like to think we’ve learned lessons since then. that my cousin’s situation is the result of ignorance and inaction in the face of an epidemic we just didn’t understand at the time.
i’d like to think things have changed.
but, according to the world health organization, aids infected and killed more people than ever in 2002. worldwide, about 40 million people are infected with hiv. of that number, about five million became infected in 2002, including approximately 700,000 children.
in 2002, approximately three million people died of aids…about 500,000 of them were children younger than 15.
that’s roughly 8,000 deaths a day.
five people lose their lives to aids every minute.
learn more about hiv and aids, and what you can do to help in the fight against this global epidemic at one of these sites:
us department of health & human services
uk’s national aids trust’s world aids day site
united nations aids organization
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