Have you ever had someone tell you that they have contracted HIV? We were sitting in the parking lot of a liquor store when he told me. It was surreal; even after all the interviews, all the talks, and information I had around HIV/AIDS, I still found myself speechless and scrabbling to try and not say something dumb, something I knew was not the truth, like, “everything’s going to be okay” because most likely it is going to be okay, but do I know that for a fact?
People are no longer dying in droves large enough to make the evening news: I doubt any teachers are screening the movie Philadelphia with their students as they did when I was in high school. Also, it seems like you never really hear of anyone getting to the stage of full-blown AIDS anymore. We are no longer afraid to have “poz” friends for fear of contracting it from a hug. While I know very few HIV-positive people, it seems like the burden of prevention has shifted back to gay men, even though they are not the only ones affected.