Today, December 1, is the 27th annual observance of World AIDS Day.
|He looked great in a tux, too|
I’ve been working hard lately on the next book in my series, Friend Grief in the Workplace: More Than an Empty Cubicle. But I struggled to find some validation about the importance of friendships at work.
Last night I attended an emotional event at Gay Men’s Health Crisis, in commemoration of National HIV and Aging Day (September 18). “We Aren’t Dead Yet! What Do We Do Now?” was billed as a community discussion, with an impressive panel of experts: Dr. Judith Rabkin, Columbia University Dept. of Psychiatry and Dr. Perry Halkitis, professor at NYU and author of The AIDS Generation: Stories of Survival and Resilience spoke along with two long-time HIV+ survivors, Jim Albaugh and Kevin Oree, and my friend Jim Eigo, long-time HIV- survivor and fellow ACT UP NY activist.
I never envisioned a day when we would need to address the aging issues of men and women who are HIV+. And it’s not just long-time survivors: in this articlefrom the CDC, we Baby Boomers (of whatever sexual orientation) are becoming infected even now. Safe sex is not a topic of discussion at most retirement communities.
I’m not a fan of memoirs. I find a lot of them to be self-serving justifications for past behavior, spinning a fictional tale that presents the narrator as either a victim or hero. And while AIDS is an issue I’ve been involved with since the 80s, Sean Strub’s Body Counts was not a book I was excited about reading.