This diary is primarily directed at my fellow members of the LGBT community, and in particular at my gay brothers. I want to talk about an issue we all used to think was really important, but which seems to have fallen off the radar screen recently. That issue is HIV.
HIV/AIDS used to be an existential threat to our community, and we treated it as such. Nowadays, medical science has made HIV a chronic illness, at least for those of us lucky enough to have access to very expensive antiretroviral therapy. Nevertheless, HIV remains a tremendous health problem, and it's still rampant among gay men. Yet our community seems to have decided to direct its attention elsewhere, and I'm trying to figure out why. So if you're interested in that discussion, please join me below.
A few words of warning at the outset. First, I said that this diary is intended primarily for the LGBT community, and I meant it. It's not that I'm not interested in what straight folks have to say, but this is really a conversation about what we as a community choose to prioritize and why. So what I'm most interested in hearing are the views of my LGBT brothers and sisters.
Second, if you're what I call an "HIV poser," then move along. You know who you are. You're the person who only brings up HIV when you're trying to win an argument. You use HIV as a moral cudgel whenever you want to criticize LGBT activists who are pushing marriage equality, the Uniting American Families Act, trans rights, or whatever. You try to seize the high ground by asking sarcastically, "Do you really think this issue is as important as HIV?" You then drop HIV like a hot potato and never mention it again -- until it's time for the next argument.
So if that's you, please know that you will be extremely unwelcome here. The LGBT community is fighting a lot of battles simultaneously, and I'm not going to be using this diary to denigrate the work of those who are engaged in other aspects of the struggle. So if you only think of HIV when you're trying to score rhetorical points, please get lost. Sorry, but HIV is way too serious to me and to the millions of other poz people out there for me to tolerate its use as some kind of club.
Now that that's out of the way, you can follow me below the squiggle.