Cover image/art work by: Felix Gonzalez-Torres "Untitled" (Portrait of Ross)
I feel I cannot not write a blog post today…. I am sure you have all seen on social media, but in case you have not, today is World AIDS Day. Because I am a responsible gay male, because of my upbringing going to AIDS walks/rallies, because of the needles I have countlessly encountered in city streets, and lastly, because of this project, Contracting An Issue, HIV/AIDS is something I think about every day! I think about it when I take (or forget to take) my PrEP pill (a miracle as far as I am concerned). I think about it after having had sex. I think about it looking at porn. I think about it when I fondly think of a few good friends and their health.
Take yesterday, for example--a man came into my office and told me I should have interviewed him about the disease. He had heard about our project and wanted to talk, to tell someone who would listen, about his partner of 18 years and how he died, about how he was also positive and what it was like not dying. So...I listen.
Our blog has been dark for a while. For many reasons: one grows tired of talking about HIV/AIDS all the time (trust me, its not fun to always bring up), life happens, projects get stalled, but one thing that I know is for sure is that HIV/AIDS is not what it was 30+ years ago. But that is the main reason why we should NOT stop talking about it today! The face and the death rate have changed, but the fact that the disease still affects people everyday has not!
IF TODAY IS THE ONLY day you think about HIV/AIDS, maybe it's time to get tested. If you are like the many others I know, today is time for some introspective thought and remembrance of those we love. I wish everyone the best, but in the same breath, PLEASE DON’T MAKE THIS THE ONLY DAY! (But I am glad we have a day for World AIDS Day)
- If you already follow our project, you might have heard but just in case we are heading to Tampa/St. Petes Florida (DEC 11th & 12th) to start are third iteration of Contracting An Issue, more info found here: http://www.contractinganissue.com/info/tampa/st-petes/