What it Feels Like to LIVE With HIV/AIDS
Over the years, especially during the 1990s, we attended many memorial services for friends who died from AIDS-related illnesses. Although we knew they had the virus we didn’t talk to them about it when they were alive. We felt uncomfortable asking personal questions. But we also lost opportunities to be supportive when our friends needed us the most.
At the time, we wanted to create a forum for those most impacted by this issue to share their experiences and feelings. More than 500 individuals ranging in age from as young as 5 years old to senior citizens in their 70s participated in this project. Groups in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and heterosexual communities, as well as IV-drug users, from all social, economic, religious, racial and ethnic backgrounds, told their stories. So have their family members, caregivers, friends and lovers, and anyone else affected by knowing someone who is HIV infected.
In recent years, there have been many medical advances in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, with infected people LIVING rather than dying.
Education and understanding leads to better prevention.