14 January 2017

Remember Ryan White?

He was a brave young man who contracted HIV/AIDS as a result of getting a blood transfusion because he was a Hemophiliac.  He was mentioned in the CNN 80’s documentary that I watched on Netflix.   I’ve been meaning to write about him.  I didn’t realize that we were the same age.  If he was alive today he would be 45.  I remember hearing about him growing up and I even wrote and mailed him a letter.  Never said that I was gay but expressed sympathy for what he was going through and told him how brave I thought he was.  I knew he wasn’t gay and sex or sexuality had no bearing on the letter I wrote. 

Watching the documentary brought back memories and I never realized we were the same age.  That was shocking to me.  He fought so hard for so long he didn’t give up willingly and that is what made him such a brave young man in my eyes. 

If you don’t remember him, just plug his name into Google and you’ll be flooded with lots of links.  He was a handsome fellow and it’s just a shame that he wasn’t able to beat HIV/AIDS.

Today HIV/AIDS is not a death sentence as it was back in the 80’s when it was pretty certain that you would die quicker than you wanted to.  Modern medical science has made a lot of progress and we have PREP today.  Entering into the dating world and being a gay man HIV/AIDS scares the crap out of me.  I don’t want it and unfortunately couldn’t date someone who had it.  I will admit that my knowledge on the subject is lacking and I know how not to get it and how it’s transmitted.  However, if your positive for HIV/AIDS I don’t think less of you as a person but I am positive that I can’t date someone who has it.  Lots of guys who want to sleep around or are porn stars, just ask their doc for a script for PREP and as long as they take it religiously they should be fine if exposed.  I am not a huge risk taker and adding another pill to those that I already take isn’t something that I really want to do.

Sadly today people still die from HIV/AIDS but thankfully the number has declined from what it was back in the 80s.  I remember the AIDS quilt which was truly a remarkable event.  I remember watching the movie Philadelphia with my late partner, we both cried a lot during and after the movie.  We were faithful to each other and monogamous with our bodies.  Our eyes had affairs all the time, we both oogled the hell out of many guys but at the end of the day we knew that we had each other and that is what mattered most.  I had permission to go out and find another guy for sex after my guy had his surgery for colo-rectal cancer but opted not to.  It was flirting with disaster and in a way now that I am alone it’s like flirting with disaster as well.  However, now I am much more at ease or so I think I am with dating someone.  When it comes to sex I am not so sure how I will be, I know that I am longing to have some physical intimacy it’s been many years too long but I keep hearing that good things come to those that wait. 

I really want to see HIV/AIDS wiped out and cured.  Just as badly as I do cancer – we have lost far too many good people and I realize everyone has to die of something but I also feel like these diseases should be cured by now, we have a lot of smart people on this planet.  It wouldn’t surprise me to learn there was a cure for both but the cures weren’t released because of politics.   Think about it for a second if there is a cure then all of the drug companies, hospitals, medical providers, etc. wouldn’t be raking in the money they are today for treatment.  It’s a theory but I have no proof to back it up.

I want to see everyone live a long and prosperous life and not die from something that I feel should be curable.  You don’t hear much about Ryan White today but his name will forever be in the history books along with so many other brave people that this disease consumed.

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