12 June 2005

What is the World coming to?!?

As a second year psychology/law student I like to think of myself as a some what higher educated individual. I like to think I know a lot about the world having lived it in and experienced quite a bit. Furthermore I like to think of myself as someone with a large sense of humor. I think my significant other, friends and family would agree to that. You the reader may be wondering where I am going with this, so here it is. When did HIV/AIDS become something that the general population laughs about and thinks is funny? Tonight Jarred and I sat down to watch Team America World Police and it showed a Broadway show actor (the show was entitled Lease) singing a song about everybody having AIDS. That pretty much did the movie in for me. Anything else I might have enjoyed in the movie was utterly destroyed by this one cold laugh that myself and 900,000 other United States citizens must endure every waking day of our life. Well as I was actually just starting to feel a little less uptight I was lying on the bed watching Family Guy (less than 15 minutes ago) and it showed a flashback (as the show likes to do) of Peter and a barbershop quartet going into a hospital room and singing to this guy that he has AIDS. "It's not HIV but full blown AIDS." As an HIV positive person who has to take around 15-20 pills daily, gets tired by walking up stairs, and has chronic stomach problems I just don't understand how anyone in America can find this amusing. I certainly would never wish this disease upon anyone but it would be ultimate self gratification for them to have to endure this for just ONE DAY. Let the creators of these programs and movies have to lay in a hospital bed for two weeks, endure a common cold for two months and put their life on hold because of illness. Has HIV/AIDS become the new politically correct thing to make fun of? Where was I when this memo was sent out?

For those who read this blog that I don't know personally you may be thinking...well he got HIV because he was reckless and didn't use protection. I want to clear the air with that right now. The person I was with used protection, however, condoms not being fool proof broke. At the time he did not know that he was positive due to the incubation period. I was a bit upset that it busted but knew that it happened and didn't think much about it, until I got the call with him telling me that he was positive.

Furthermore I can understand that we as a nation who is well off may have the urge to help other countries get on track. What I can't understand is why we are helping other countries secure HIV/AIDS meds when we cannot even secure meds for everyone in this country. For example say you want to get on Ryan White or the Drug Manufacturer's Patience Assistance Program you can only make $12,000.00 (give or take a few dollars) in order to qualify for assistance. If you make $12,001.00 then you cannot receive assistance. That means that there are a lot of people in this country who are not taking meds not because that don't want to but because our government is making them choose between meds, food and shelter.

Perhaps I am just being overly sensitive on this issue. However, I think with just cause. When we sit back and allow injustice then people can never see the truth. I just hope that the people that watch Family Guy and Team America and think AIDS is a laughing matter never have to endure the pain of watching someone they love or themselves die of this non-laughing disease.

James words of wisdom: He who laughs and partakes in others misfortune gets bit in ass hard.

Hugs and kisses,



Liz J said...

I have not watched Team America, but I have a feeling they were probably making reference to the Broadway Musical "Rent," which dealt with AIDS and was written by a man who had AIDS (and passed away just before the show opened--I think).
It is so unfortunate that people and the media only find other people's misfortunes comic. I remember a time when AIDS and AIDS research was at the forefront of media and individual conversation. It was a serious thing, and people were finally inspired to do something about (once they conceded that it wasn't a punishment for people who live in sin). Thanks for reminding me and the others that read your blog that HIV/AIDS is still a big issue, but more than that, it effects real people. It's not only far away, but right next door as well.

Anonymous said...


HI James,

Greetings from across the pond. I was in my clinic yesterday (Graham hayton unit, the royal london hospital. I have been positive for 3 years now and so far im in a good state. Bar the last few months ive been getting a bit sick a bit too often. This is largely due to the recreational and overspill of the use of meth which is blowing up over here. I saw your profile in one of the free mags called baseline and decided i wanted to read your blogs to see what its really like. Ive just started reading from the beginning of your new adventure and so far am up to what is the world coming too. And i just cant believe you dont have meds available for everyone even more so being one of the richest countries in the world !!!. I realise how lucky i am now over here and promise you im gonna look after myself and use everything to my advantage. I wish you well and am gonna crack on with the rest of your reads.