Today is World AIDS Day, and being my counter-culture self, I couldn’t resist running this insert from a recent ad for an HIV/AIDS treatment center down here in Lauderdale. Since 1985, we knew what caused AIDS and how to prevent or at least lessen the risk of transmission. How old do you think this kid is in the ad, beaming with his physician caregiver? Nineteen, maybe twenty?
Is he smiling because he had unsafe sex and got infected? Maybe even was a party boy who didn’t care who stuck their cock up his ass?
Is he smiling because he will taking meds for the rest of his life, probably the next fifty years, meds you and I will be paying for through our taxes? (And let’s not even get into subsidies, disability, etc.) If you came down with cancer and your insurance didn’t cover all of your chemo or you had no insurance, you’d be planning your funeral.
Is he smiling, not realizing that even with the pharms, current medicine can’t prevent the long term effects of being poz, and I see them or hear about them down here every day: cirrhosis of the liver, blown out joints, early dementia, and a haggard look which makes you appear decades older than you are.
Just exactly why is he smiling?
Because his free ride – including all those cosmetic fillers to rebuild his face – is on us.