Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Testing...testing 1 2 3
Good morning!!! Today, June 27th, is National HIV Testing day. 1 million people in the US have HIV and more than 10% of those people don't know it.

If you've been putting it off, now is the time. If you're not able to go today, call a friend and make a time to go together. If you know your status and you have a friend that doesn't, call that person and make a time to go get tested.

There is something you can do about HIV. Medications are available and have far, far fewer side effects than they used to. Not to mention, just being monitored, whether you start meds or not, is good for your long term health. Notice I said long-term health.

I used to think that I would bury each and every one of my friends. Many years ago I wrote this about Michael, living with HIV since the mid 80s - and it seems so quaint now, in 2006...

Faithful was the constant anticipation of the end. Intermittently we discussed arrangements though there were no indications that he was worsening. The only intimation was the physician-supplied knowledge that he should have been dead, therefore, every day seemed like a sweet, mocking gift.

I regularly and shamelessly talked about my future, both of us appreciating that I could not suspend it. He hesitantly planned for the very near future, a man tonight, visit parents in a month, work for a year, perhaps.

I voraciously seized the complex fibers of love and insight he offered, threading them together to eventually create a beautiful elaborate quilt that I could wrap around myself after he was gone. After a while, emboldened by the silence of what had been a fierce but faulty alarm, he planned for a year, two, five, and ten. I slowly unraveled the threads, and graceless remnants, using them for other projects, and enjoying the scarcity of daily encroachment.

Tomorrow, more on my Michael...today, go get tested (or go get your bloodwork done if you haven't done that in a while).

xo people xo


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Blogger Shananigans said...

Hi Faith, it was nice to see you at SnB last week! I happen to work for APLA, I imagine you’re familiar with us? Anyway, thanks for this important reminder post. Far too many people with HIV are unaware they are carrying it, I’ve heard estimates ranging from 10-25%. That’s so many people that could be getting treatment and learning how to not transmit HIV to others.

Blogger Brad said...

Hear hear!

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