Today is one of the most somber days of the GLBTQA community and, while somber, it is also one of the most important. World AIDS Day is a day that reminds all of us about just how precious life is.
Many within the community can remember the horrors of the earliest days of the crisis. These horrors included the lack of government response, rampant rise of homophobia, and worst of all, the horror of misinformation. Even through those dark days, beacons of light would emerge. People rose to action and demanded government response. People rose up and decided life was too important to lose to a viral epidemic. As time went on, and the gay stigma around the virus fell, more and more straight allies joined the cause, and a movement for health began.
While today we live in a better world than early days of the epidemic, we still have more work to do. New drugs, research, and forward momentum build every day and point to a world where a cure exists, but as of now AIDS is still a reality. If, however, we continue to band together to keep fighting it back, we can make sure that the next generation is the AIDS free generation so many have wanted to see.
During the eighties, the “Silence = Death” movement began and today that still rings true. So today, while we reflect on those lost and those struggling, let’s forego the moment of silence and take a moment of action. Take a moment today to find a way that you can contribute to the cause. Find a AIDS charity to donate to, find a group you can volunteer with, and find a way to get others to do the same. A united front is our best bet to win the war on the epidemic once and for all.
Unity will save lives, it will serve as a memorial for those lost and be the bastion of hope the world needs. Unity will bring us to a more healthy tomorrow.