Today Is World AIDS Day

Did you know that?

There is a giant red ribbon hanging on the front porch of the White House today.

December 1 is still World AIDS Day.  There still is no cure.  People still get sick and die because of AIDS.

People are also living much longer and are taking medicines that really do help slow the progress of the disease.

The drugs that work are very expensive and state and federal programs that help pay for them are in danger of being cut.

Sometimes the side effects and the dosing schedule are so difficult and intolerable that folks stop taking the drugs.

I spend a lot of time helping out at Higher Ground, a day center for people who are HIV positive.   It is a free-standing program of Triad Health Project, the local AIDS service organization.  Three days a week, every week, local churches and other groups provide lunch for 25-40 hungry clients and volunteers and the one paid staff person who tends the souls and cleans the toilets for all who come through the doors.

Higher Ground is a place of acceptance for many who have been turned away by family, churches, and friends.  Believe me when I say, God is in this place and miracles do happen here.  Like crack addicts who are able to stay clean and have their own apartments for the first time in their adult lives thanks to case managers at Triad Health Project and the support and love of peers at Higher Ground.  Or men like my friend Bill who has been HIV positive since the 1980’s.  He had a leg amputated above the knee a while back because of HIV complications and was back at “The House” a few weeks later, smiling.  Many volunteers over the years, from high school students to those of us with gray hair, have been profoundly touched by the courage and faith of the men and women who pass through Higher Ground.

Did you know all this was still happening?

Today, there is much more hope.  But AIDS is not gone.  If you can, please donate your time and/or money to a local AIDS service organization.  They still need you.  Here is a link to Triad Health Project in Greensboro: http://www.winterwalkforaids.kintera.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1116511

Triad Health Project’s vision statement:

We will stand together for as long as it takes until HIV/AIDS is no more, promoting enlightenment, dignity, acceptance, understanding, and love; demonstrating that we are not only enduring this epidemic, but also prevailing over it.

Still.

(I wrote this December 1, 2010.  It is still all true.)

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Published in: on December 1, 2014 at 9:38 am  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Diseases are sadly, like fads. We get excited, we get scared…and then, unless it affects us personally we lose interest. And then there are people like you Robin. Keep up what has to be rewarding and heartbreaking work.

  2. I agree with the comment above. I will add that there are more and more as populations mix. I know those who suffer appreciate your kindness.

  3. I have been thinking about this post for a while, especially in the light of your post on breast cancer and pink. Both are brave posts and as Adrian indicates, it is people like you who continue the work long after the flag waving is over.

    Thank you seems far from sufficient for what you do but thank you is what I have to offer. I think what most strikes me is the level of awareness you provide to the rest of us, straightforward and positive.

    By positive I mean you remind that in all of us resides a well of compassion. All we need do is drink from it and then offer it to those who suffer. We are offering a bit of ourselves, what we are able to offer, and what we often forget is that it is not only enough but gratefully accepted.

    Thanks, Robin.
    Karen


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