Once again this year I am posting a message written back in 2005 by Christopher, a blogger who lived in London. I often wonder what happened to him and sincerely hope that he is still dreaming his lottery fantasies and has more reasons to feel that he won one of the lotteries in life.
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.Christopher – Everything Is Not Real
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.
We have learned much since those frightening days of the 1980s when suddenly friends, colleagues or just familiar faces we saw regularly on the streets began to fade from our lives. So much of what was done, written and acted on in those days was based on ignorance, misconceptions, prejudices, and fears of an unknown. When James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, two public information officers for the WHO Global Programme on AIDS, proposed the idea of World AIDS Day back in 1987 it was to fight that ignorance, and those misconceptions, prejudices, and fears.
Today we have a better knowledge of how AIDS/HIV is transmitted and how that risk can be minimized. And education has done much to remove the “unknowns” around AIDS and HIV. Sadly the misconceptions, prejudices and fears are often still present in the attitudes of governments, institutions, and religions in many places. But prejudices and fears are the often the hardest enemies to conquer.
But so is complacency. And often it seems the attitudes globally and in communities seems to one of complacency.
Figures indicate that the promises of funding made back in 2005 by developed countries that Annie Lennox spoke about are going by the wayside. This has an impact in low- and middle-income countries where funding for education and treatment are critical and badly needed. And as the developed countries cut their contributions the future outlook of global funding for the international response to HIV remains uncertain. With that uncertainty come an increase in infections and in third world countries certain death.
We have seen advances in medicine that allow a quality of life that was unthinkable when those first cases appeared and a diagnosis amounted to a death sentence. Unfortunately those advances have also led to a sense of complacency in many quarters – no doubt engendered by pharmaceutical ads showing buffed, Palm Beach tanned bodies enjoy a drink by the pool and pornography without protection.
No one in their right mind would want a return to those dark frightening days of the 80s but education is still very much needed. Not to engender fear but to build awareness that, until a cure is found, knowledge and protection are the first defences in the fight against AIDS and HIV. As with any war we should not dwell endlessly on the losses but we must always remember them.
To those we loved and lost and those we loved who fought and survived.
December 1st is World AIDS Day. A day to learn, inform and remember.
4 thoughts on “World AIDS Day 2019”
Thanks Will for an excellent post. Complacency is the real enemy.
You are steadfast in your commemoration and tribute.
It’s interesting (in a negative way) that I never heard once this morning while listening to the news that it is world aids day. Neither did it come up on my news feed when I turned on my phone. I guess it doesn’t make good gossip for the media anymore.
I too thought this tender and good reading. Thank you.