Eleven years ago on this day in 2005 Christopher at EVERYTHING IS NOT REAL, a long dormant blog, posted a thoughtful and sobering piece that struck a cord with me. The following year I reposted it and have done so every year since.
I have lottery fantasies…
Needless to say, twice a week, I am disappointed…
When I think about it I kinda did win the lottery…
About 33 years ago.
Those first few years I’d would post it in memory of the friends I had lost in those first years of the epidemic; always with the hope that I would have no further names to add to that memory list that year. Well I have reached that point but sadly that is not the case in much of the world. Certainly advances have been made in the world I inhabit though I sometimes worry that those advances and the way they are marketed means that less precautions are being taken. When I see ads in gay publications lauding the “healthy lifestyle” that can be led with the new “wonder drugs” I fear for the young people who fall for the pharmaceutical companies pretty pictures. I would not want us to go back to those days of living in fear and uncertainty but as those times recede in memory I worry that we will become complaisant both sexually and in our quest for an answer to a way to eradicate this horrible disease.
December 1, 2005
I have lottery fantasies.
I dream about being able to buy fast cars and designer clothes until they come out of my ears. I want houses in London, New York, East Hampton and Rio. I want to be able to travel first class and work out at The Third Space and get reservations at Annabel’s just because of who I am. I want to be able to take hot dates on tours of the National Gallery. When it’s closed. Because I’m one of it’s biggest benefactors.
Needless to say, twice a week, I am disappointed.
This morning, on the way to work on the tube, I was reading a Times article, written by Annie Lennox, about the millions and millions of people in Africa who are suffering with HIV and AIDS, and dying, and how the governments of the richer nations, such as the one I live in, have pledged support over an eight year period. And how they absolutely must stay committed to this goal.
One of the kids she spoke to on a recent trip to Africa was dying of AIDS. But before he got sick he lost his mother, father, brothers, sisters and pretty much everyone else he cared about to the same disease. He was totally alone in the world. With no hope. And certainly no dreams of fast cars or a nice comfortable house, anywhere. And that shit isn’t even near the important stuff.
There are approximately 6,450,000,000 humans on Earth.
Most of them are not 33 year olds who have careers which afford them access to guest lists to the best clubs and bars the city has to offer. They don’t have friends who will stick with them no matter what (and slip them Jil Sander dress shirts every now and then). They don’t have housemates who have Thai cuisine prepared and ready to eat when they arrive home. They don’t have comfortable beds to sleep in at night.
When I think about it I kinda did win the lottery.
About 33 years ago
EVERYTHING IS NOT REAL – Christopher
It is estimated that 35 million people have died from AIDS-related illnesses since 1981 the year that such deaths began to be recorded; that includes over 1.1 million in 2015. But despite these figure there are still countries were authorities tell us that it “doesn’t exist”, that if it does it’s a “foreign disease”; countries where people are ostracized, and where there is no care of any sort. The vast majority of people living with HIV are in low-and middle-income countries with Sub-Saharan Africa being the area most affect. In 2015 it was estimated that 25.6 million people living with HIV and that 66% of new infections occurred in the region. Despite all the advances made in the knowledge of HIV, its prevention and treatment and efforts by the global health community most people living with the virus or at risk do not have access to information, prevention, care and treatment.
As I live in a society were information, prevention, care, and treatment is available I am no longer adding names of friends “in memoriam”. Like Christopher, I and so many people I know have also “won the lottery”.
In Memoriam: Pierre, Lawrence, Bill, Jim, Don, Andrew, Brian, Doug, Donald, Billy and the many others that we’ve lost but still love and hold in our hearts. And for my friends who may have lost the lottery but won the battle.
On this day in 1988: The first World AIDS Day is observed.