BY ARI EZRA WALDMAN
We're so busy falling over cliffs or sliding down slopes and waiting with bated breadth for word about whether the Constitution recognizes the equal dignity of gay persons that we sometimes forget that a long life is a prerequisite for the enjoyment of rights and the good life.
So, mark your calendars: Saturday, December 1 is World AIDS Day.
It is a day on which we should make an extra effort to remember those whom we lost, reflect on what the AIDS Crisis has taught us, and realize that there are still too many getting infected with HIV, not getting tested, practicing unsafe sex, and dying of AIDS-related complications. Take the time to see David France's fantastic documentary, How to Survive a Plague, which tells the story of ACT UP (and its offshoot TAG) during 9 years of the AIDS Crisis in Greenwich Village. Even those too young to know anyone who died of AIDS will be taken into a world of anxiety, emergency, and death and will walk away thanking ACT UP for what it did and trying to learn from the examples of brave men and women like Peter Staley, Bob Rafsky, and Iris Long.
But, World AIDS Day Version 2012 is also a day that we can start to see how AIDS will end. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in 2011, "the goal of an AIDS-free generation may be ambitious, but it is possible with the knowledge and interventions we have right now. And that is something we've never been able to say without qualification before. Imagine what the world will look like when we succeed.”
Imagine indeed. The San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF), the country's largest AIDS services organization is not only imagining it, it is working hard to achieve it. In addition to its outreach, education, health care, counseling, and research work, the SFAF has just published a fascinating e-book in which scholars, activists, and leaders talk about what needs to be done to end the AIDS epidemic and what will happen in a post-AIDS world. Available here and for just $0.99 (that's less than what you spend on a Chobani yogurt!), How AIDS Ends asks 15 contributors -- from former President Bill Clinton to Cleve Jones -- to answer a simple, compelling, and overdue question: When we write the complete history of HIV/AIDS, what will the final chapter look like?
Buy the e-book. All proceeds go to support the free HIV prevention and care services of the SFAF, so you know your money is going where it's most needed. Take a moment to read it (it won't take long), and as you process what you've just read, follow me AFTER THE JUMP to discuss.
CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...