Scopers


AIDS and Loss


My contribution to the day's strives for awareness...I NEEDED to come out of my self imposed hiatus for this cause, for I am too close to it not too.

AIDS...I remember when it was first televised nationally. I was 12 I believe. I remember the new epidemic known only by 4 single letters. There was no real information out about it...just ignorance rampantly being passed like the disease itself. Fear and pandemonium about getting "the sickness" and it being known as the "gay man's disease".

Well 23 years later...it is even more so widespread. A national day dedicated to it's awareness and endless charities for disease management and a search for a cure has not slowed down the spread of a disease which has taken the wheel.
I've known several people infected. The first I remember being the upstairs neighbor of my grandmother. He, his wife and their two children were like family. He was in my dad's generation...the generation of drug use in the 60's and 70's. He fell victim, but I'm not sure how it is he got it. All I know is he died and I knew what had taken his life. The next 2-3 deaths were male members of a church I once belonged to. There was a young guy a couple of years older than me whom was CLEARLY flaming gay...and had been allowed to stay with my family. His "sponsor" was our pastor and had asked my mother for the favor. Jason was allowed to stay with us and worked directly across the street at...ironically enough...the neighborhood health center. He would go out and meet guys, party and drink. He'd tell me (I was then 17 or 18) about his escapades and how he "took it". He died a few years later after having moved out. The next to die was our pastor. He died and it hurt a lot. He was so talented musically and had convinced me to be a soloist in the choir when I was too shy to open my mouth to sing a note.

I heard of a few people dying of the disease after that, but the worst to date was my sister's father. Not to mention...he died in front of us. He breathed his last breath after my mother prayed for his transcendence. That was 5 years ago, and it still makes me sad. For him, the source was drugs...as was the source for my uncle. My Uncle Larry is my father's baby brother. They both did drugs, but it was my uncle who contracted the virus that led to AIDS. I found out about 6yrs ago...and though he's suffered from encephalitis and other sickness that eventually led to his inability to walk...he's still fighting for his life today. He's a shell of his former self, but he is here.

I get checked as often as possible. I don't have a partner and I'm not rushing to get one. The man who comes into my life will be checked alongside of me. There still is no guarantee that it will be 100% preventive...but it is responsible. I just wanted to share that story.

God Bless

**addendum**

As I was re-reading this blog, I spotted the time, which was the exact date that my cousin died last year. They say it was kidney failure, but I found out later from a family member that it was AIDS. I cannot believe that the DAY I found out about his being sick, was the same day he died. I didn't even get to say goodbye...RIP, Tim. I love you!

6 scopers scoping:

Diamond~Star said...

Wow... this is very deep.

I am tested often and you know if you give blood with the American Red Cross that is an automatic test all together. There are some people out there that don't take their health seriously and they should. I guess some don't really get the message until they either see someone themselves or they are going through it. Just a few months ago, my little small town had a wake up call when this guy passed away. Just like you said, folks knew he was FLAMING gay. And when he was diagnosed he had to list the names of the people he been with through DHEC. You could only imagine, people who you thought would not get down like that but did, DL men that have wives/girlfriends at home. Folks need to wake up to the reality.

Da_Kween said...

Yes, Girl. Its just so important to keep track of your body's health. Esp as we get older. I'm looking for a mate I can trust, but I'm scared that in this day and age I wont find that. I'm a loyal girl...but that doesn't mean a thing if the man I choose isn't.

(fŭng'kē) [blak] [chik] said...

I get tested for everything under the sun, and since being diagnosed with R.A, which is an autoimmune disease as well, I'm extra careful about the people I'm around....

Da_Kween said...

I didn't realize that was an autoimmune disease. Wow...yea, you gotta stay on top of that. Let's stick around...be old ladies prowling after young menz. LMAO

Mahoganydymond said...

Well as you know I really had to deal with this on a more personal level. The person I raised died from it almost 3 years ago. I loved him so much and tried to make him go to the doctor. He had several friends to die back to back from it. He would tell me, I haven't been with them. It still hurts me to this day. I had a best friend to also die from it. It was because of a blood transfusion back in 1995. Then I have 6 other family members that is living with this sickness..
I go myself twice a year. When I was with my ex, I went every 3 months. That's how scared I was back in the 90's. I also had a very fast past. I am glad that MC and I are very open about these things.
I feel like knowing your status is the best way to prevention.

Da_Kween said...

I'm glad that through the years and the times I wasn't responsible I came through it unscathed. I have a mission to be more responsible with my life. Thanks for commenting.

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