(The title is a quote from ruralrob
-more on that in the second paragraph of my post...)
First of all, I'm mystified that there's nothing I can find going on in or around Orlando to honor today. I was on the phone with someone at the GLB community center (They've left out the T part, not me...) last night who couldn't find anything, and seemed vaguely surprised about it as well. I'll give them a call later today and ask "what's up?"-looks like this little activist has found some things to do.
Second, I think people need to go read ruralrob
's post "Shame, Philadelphia, Redemption" honoring World AIDS Day. Rob is a fantastic person to begin with, eloquent, creative, and a wonderful story teller, and a fantastic photographer. I think he expressed a sentiment in his post that I didn't come close to in mine....It's sometimes hard being an AIDS activist, but along the way one learns to both celebrate and mourn well. On December 1, World AIDS Day, I hope you understand why we do both."
I read Rob's post and feel completely inadequate.
I wrote elsewhere about women and HIV for today, so you may have seen this part posted elsewhere, though I've editorialized a bit more on the bottom in my own journal...
Here's what I wrote:
For World AIDS Day 2005…
In 2005, twenty-five years into the AIDS Pandemic women are still very much affected by HIV and AIDS. Globally, half of the people infected with HIV are women, but women are disproportionately affected with care-giving responsibilities for family members, whether or not they’re infected. ( Some of the major issues relating to women and HIV… )What can you do? Know your own HIV status. If you’re engaging in any kind of risky behavior, get tested regularly, and consider ways to reduce your risk. Take responsibility for your own sexual health-get regular check ups, encourage friends and partners to do the same. Make good decisions about using contraception, about reducing your risk of unwanted consequences of sexual behavior and about what you want. Learn to say no and mean it. Make clear, well thought out decisions about what you want, how far you’re willing to go and what risks you’re willing to take. And most importantly, communicate your boundaries clearly to your partner, before you get too hot to do that. The number one advocate for your sexual health is you.Know what resources are available in your community for HIV information-prevention, treatment, testing, and support them in whatever ways you can. Supporting those organizations can mean giving time or money, or it can mean making sure to point people who need their resources at the places that provide them.
Support initiatives, projects and programs that try to provide accurate, honest information and services about sexuality and sexual health. Love yourself. Recognizing your own value as a person does a great deal in helping people make healthy choices and reduce risky behavior.
Remember that HIV and AIDS aren’t a one day thing…they’re an everyday thing. Despite advances in treatment, HIV still has no cure. It takes the efforts of all of us to stay safe and healthy, to prevent the spread of HIV further, to support the efforts to find cures, to ensure access to treatment and services for everyone who needs it.
Find out more about HIV and educate yourself. Check out some of these websites for more information:Know HIV HIV InSite The Body United Nations AIDS InformationThe American Medical Student Association Global AIDS Pandemic Timeline
I think the most important message in this is self-worth...it really does make a difference in the kinds of choices many people make. I also know that today makes me feel helpless an inadequate. I feel like there's so much more work for me to do, and that I'll never do enough.
Still, I hope I can figure out how to do my part...