Wednesday, March 09, 2005

WARNING: AIDS May be Hazardous to My Blood Pressure

Okay... ::deep breath:: here goes. I'm about to blog about a subject that really stresses me out and pisses me off. I am so not one of those activist-types who dwells on causes or propaganda at every opportunity. I'm one of those kind of people who knows these kind of problems exist, try to stay educated on the topic and get on with my life. I have no interest in educating the populous, displaying my "support" or trying to debate the subject. HOWEVER, with that said, today's BitchFest contribution involves the disease AIDS. So, with that said, if you are the ultra sensitive type or the type that feels compelled to "enlighten" me to the plight, please save your performance for drama class tryouts. As the character Homie The Clown from the television show In Living Color used to say "Homie don't play that," and neither do I.

So, you may be asking yourself "What brought on this urge to talk about AIDS?" Well, it all started late last year when I accidentally tuned into a documentary called The Gift. I say "accidentally," because I was channel surfing and thought I was tuning into the Cate Blanchett, Giovanni Ribisi movie by the same name, that was released in 2000. Well, let me tell you, these were VERY different movies. Though I think they would both fall under the category of "horror."

For those unfamiliar with the documentary (as I was), The Gift synopsis is as follows: The Gift documents the phenomenon of deliberate HIV infection. The film follows the stories of two "bug chasers" who sought out "the gift" of HIV infection. Also interviewed are AIDS activist and author, Walt Odets, PhD, and HIV+ and HIV- men. The film explores the normalization and glamorization of HIV/AIDS and discusses the isolation and division caused by HIV status in the gay community.

And people wonder where my gay "pride" is. There it is, rolling down the steet like a tumbleweed. No, you're not having a nightmare. That's the actual premise of the documentary. I sat and watched it. Horrified. Fuming. Waiting for someone to "enlighten" me as to why they would deliberately seek out and contract a deadly disease. It really made me angry, especially when I have seen firsthand what AIDS can reduce a person to. It's very sad and nowhere near as glamorous or hunkalicious as all the gay movies would lead you to believe. That is just one of the reasons I detest so many gay movies with a "courageous" character with AIDS: Not everyone with AIDS is a hunk with pouty pecs and abs of steel. Not everyone with AIDS looks healthy. Not everyone with AIDS is some innocent 'victim' of circumstance. The reality is that some people with AIDS have lesions, are depressed and were (and some still are) total whores who like to play the "Oh, but I've got this terrible disease" card.

I must admit, I originally was of the mind set that any gay man who was old enough to know the consequences of AIDS, and STILL managed to contract it (because of promiscuous/unprotected sex), deserved what they got. I know it sounds cruel, but it really pisses me off when gay men STILL manage to contract AIDS from unprotected sex. Especially in this day and age when so much information is available on the subject. No more of this excuse of "I didn't know what it was" or "I'd heard of this new 'gay disease' but didn't know anything about it" or "But my lover and I are monogamous." The 80's are over. No more excuses. And yes, I realize straight people get the disease too, so spare me the soapbox. I'm a gay man, so I'm focusing on gay men in particular. Well, you may or may not be happy to know that I've since had a change of heart about the gay men who contract it. Not necessarily because I had some profound experience with someone who has the disease that changed my life forever. Nothing that romanticized. But more because of their family and the people who love them that they leave behind to grieve. I still don't condone those who contract it because of their lack of self control, but I do have a little more compassion, not so much for the person, but for those they leave behind.

So, when I read news articles like the one that was released last December about the new AIDS "super drug" that is supposedly more voracious about combatting the disease, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand I'm thankful to hear that SOMETHING has come of all these millions of dollars worth of banquets, proceeds, charities, benefits and red riboon sales. On the other hand, when breakthroughs like this happen it seems to be an open invitation to fuck without consequences because now "there's a pill for that." And if that's not bad enough, now we have to contend with these idiots hosting "conversion" parties. What is WRONG with people?! It's like a slap in the face to the families, researchers and thousand of people hoping, struggling to find a cure. And people scratch their heads and wonder where this new virulent strain of AIDS is coming from. Sigh...


Blogger Dave2 said...

Many people are of the "it won't happen to me" camp, whether it be unprotected sex, smoking, or whatever.

I read an article a while back about a guy who was wanting AIDs because he felt lonely and thought that by contracting the disease he could be a member of the AIDs community and finally have some people to care about him. It's sad (but not surprising) that lonely, desperate people who are ostracized from society, family, and friends would do something sad and desperate to get attention.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Kirkkitsch said...

Thanks for commenting on this. AIDS has become such a taboo subject, should one decide to write something NEGATIVE about it. But I don't care. I know plenty of people who feel the same way I do.

Sigh. Are you trying to give me high blood pressure? Aaaaaaiiiigggh! That is just NUTS! And sad, too. That someone would feel THAT needy to get attention. I totally believe it, though. Just when I think I've heard it all. Trust me, I will never be THAT lonely. Sure, I may talk to myself and make up lyrics to popular songs, but I'll never deliberately get radioactive. Yeesh!

Monday, March 14, 2005 1:55:00 PM  

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