World AIDS Day
December 1, 1999
In observance of World AIDS Day, OneSwellFoop is participating in a Day Without Weblogs (DW^2). The irregularly scheduled programming you've tried to expect from this site will resume after Midnight Pacific Time. If you are offended by public displays of symbolic goody-goody-ism, please be warned that I actually LIKE this concept and may continue to interrupt my intentionally non-serious site to acknowledge other serious issues and causes on a periodic basis.
As to the issue at hand, if you believe the AIDS crisis is over, and you don't have to care/worry/think about it anymore, note these latest statistics on the state of the disease from Reuters & ABC...
"AIDS Deaths on Rise as New Millenium Dawns"
The fact is, even if it were to stop spreading today, we'll be living with (and some dying from) the effects of AIDS for decades to come.
This disease has affected American society in ways that we still don't fully understand. And there are important lessons to be learned from AIDS that haven't been figured out, but must be in order to prevent, or at least reduce the effects of, future health threats we can't foresee. What are those lessons, you ask me? Hey, I'm just a guy with a funny website.
But there have to be better ways to deal with a disease and its victims without getting the two mixed up, to separate reasonable and unreasonable fears, to avoid having to set priorities for epidemics, to keep momentum going for health issues that aren't in the headlines, and not settle for a "comfort level" for death and disease. There's a lot of medical, scientific, ethical and spiritual heavy lifting yet to be done before the "AIDS Crisis" can be considered "over", and we'd better not depend on guys with a funny website to do it.
If information is power, the best source of voltage still today (according to my best source, is Randy Shilts' "And the Band Played On" (NO bookstore link). I guess it speaks to the issue of what we have and haven't learned that, in spite of all that has happened in the last 10 years, no other writing has superceded this book.
Here's a semi-comprehensive list of organizations that are up to some good...
CDC National AIDS Prevention Information Network -- from the Centers for Disease Control
Contact Day Without weblogs or One Swell Foop
Gay Men's Health Crisis -- the nation's oldest AIDS service organization
The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt -- remembering those we have lost, using the world's largest community art project
Children With AIDS Project -- information about HIV, AIDS and kids
AEGIS -- a comprehensive database of AIDS information, updated hourly
National Minority AIDS Council -- how AIDS affects peoples of color
Needle Exchange & Harm Reduction -- reducing the spread of HIV among IV-drug users
Other online resources and national AIDS service organizations [list on The NAMES Project website]
In the Los Angeles area:
AIDS Project L.A.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (owners of the "Out of the Closet" thrift stores, allowing me to contribute to the cause even when I have been REALLY broke)
This webpage designed in an awful hurry.
The following is a contractual obligation of OneSwellFoop and does not represent anybody's endorsement of anything good.
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