The Drop in HIV Awareness

deer standOver the past weekend my wife and I were talking about how times have changed since the 1980s. In the late 1980s and into the 1990s, news on HIV/AIDS was everywhere you turned. The news was talking about the latest stars that died from the disease (like Freddy Mercury), scientist were still trying to figure out how the disease was spread and how easily it was spread,,,,,. Fast forward 20 years, and almost nobody is talking about HIV/AIDS – unless your in a high risk group, know someone with HIV, or you grew up in the 1980s.

Add to that Foxnews posted an article about 1 in 5 urban gay and bisexual men have HIV.

Neither my wife or I are bisexual or gay, but the changing of the times does make for an interesting conversation. I guess the public interest in HIV/AIDS is a good example.

My opinion on the HIV/AIDS topic, the people are tired of talking about it, and have just accepted the fact that HIV is here to stay. You can only talk about a subject so much before people start to get bored, and I think that is what has happened with the HIV topic – 25 years of talking is more then enough.

No longer do we see AIDS victims on TV, with purple skin cancer blotches, nothing but skin and bones, gasping for air as pneumonia eats away at their lungs. Its more political correct to show some healthy HIV person talking about the disease. But where is the fear factor in showing a healthy HIV victim? Has our society come to the point where we are afraid to look the truth in the eye? Are we afraid, or are we just burnt out?

In the 1980s there was fear that HIV would become as common as Gonorrhea, but with no cure. There was fear that HIV would wipe out an entire generation. Or that the cost of taking care of people with HIV/AIDS would deplete our nations financial resources. Thank goodness none of those fears have come true – but HIV is still taking its toll, just a little slower then we expected in the 1980s and early 1990s.

For several years in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the HIV infection rate of gay men was going down, or holding steady. So what has changed over the past few years? Maybe its a changing of the guard? That the younger generation may not remember the fear from the 1980s and 1990s? I just don’t know and I do not have the answers. But there is one thing for sure, there is a killer virus out there.

Who knows, maybe in 300 – 400 years, people might look back at this time period and call it the second dark ages, or the second plague of mankind. How will history judge this time period, where an incurable virus has ravaged our society.

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