“He’s alive and healthy, but after he tells people he’s HIV-positive, that’s all anybody sees: death and dying. All anyone sees when they look at him is AIDS, no matter what else he looks like. Once people know about him … he has an AIDS aura.” —from Walt Loves the Bearcat
AIDS is not a fatal disease full of nothing but hopelessness, sickness, shame, remorse, guilt, pain, suffering. AIDS is so much more. AIDS is an agent of change. The changes are not good or bad. They just are.
When I tell people I have AIDS, I’m often asked to clarify. Do I have AIDS or am I simply HIV-positive?
As if there’s a difference anywhere but in your mind. lol
Years ago, when science and governments were adapting to HIV/AIDS, an arbitrary line was drawn on an imaginary scale based on a few educated guesses based on an observation or two, here or there, more or less.
If a patient has more than 200 t-cells, he’s positive; if a patient has less than 200 t-cells, he’s going, going … got AIDS, more or less, give or take, scientifically and governmentally speaking, and so on and so on.
Picture referees marking the 50-yard line on a football field that goes on forever and is forever changing. [Which side of that line you’re on] is the difference between having HIV and AIDS.
I still get that look in people’s eyes when I tell them I have AIDS. Shock. Horror. Pity. Disgust. Fear. Relief. Pity. Sadness. As if I’m telling them I have six weeks to live. As if it’s still 1985.
In the 21st century, AIDS is so much more than the sum total of America’s nightmares, and I am much more than an AIDS Monster. See AIDS through my eyes in the posts labeled HIV-P.O.V., now and forever at Randy Boyd’s Blocks