AIDS At 35: Why are We Still Talking About It?
It was in June of 1981 that the federal Centers for Disease Control reported on would become the first documented case of the HIV virus caused Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or AIDS. I lived and worked and played then in New York City, one of its epicenters, and the crazy Sodom and Gomorrah scene l had known and enjoyed in the seventies came to a sudden halt, like a merry-go-round suddenly without power. For almost the next decade and a half many died, some of the handsomest and most sought after in our shitty little subculture. Then came the meds and many who once faced death sentences lived. Today an ever-increasing number of guys, many young, are turning to PrEP as the answer while research continues on a vaccine.
But why are we still talking about a remarkably preventative problem?
Why are four out of ten gay men, and that’s probably a conservative estimate, having unprotected sex?
Why are cases of HIV continuing to rise in hotbeds like lazy, hazy south Florida?
Why does a twenty-three year old kid who hit me up on one of the hookup sites – 23 fucken years old – describe himself as “positive?”
I think we all know the answer.