Every year, for I don’t know how many years now — I’ve lost count — I’ve risen out of bed at 6 o’clock in the morning on a Sunday in the month of May (and you know how difficult that is…6 a.m….Sunday…). With sleepiness weighing heavily on me, I drag myself out of bed and eventually make my way out the door. Destination: Central Park in New York City. Event: AIDS Walk New York.
Why do I walk? I walk because there is no cure. AIDS is still looked upon as a “dirty” disease. It isn’t pretty, and let’s be real: Depending on your religious beliefs or cultural values, you’re thinking it has everything to do with gay men, particularly, white, gay men. That demographic may be part of it, but it doesn’t tell the whole story so, stop it! Although the numbers are dropping overall, we need to address the issue of HIV infections and AIDS within the black community, in the Caribbean and even in Latin America. And no, it’s not just blacks in Sub-Saharan Africa either! It is an equal opportunity disease — black, white, brown, gay, straight, men, women, children. The sooner we get rid of these biases that people are getting this disease because “they’re doing what they’re not supposed to be doing,” the better it will be for all of us. It is an absolute disgrace that death and murdering those who either have the disease, are suspected of having the disease or because of their “behavior”, is acceptable. Really?
I guess we will all see when we get to the Pearly Gates.
Every year when I walk, it bothers me. Every year. But, I pull myself out of bed in the wee hours of the morning to walk because my hope is that one child is saved…one woman is saved…one man is saved, and hopefully, the campaign of “Getting to Zero” will be a success.