Friday, December 01, 2006

World AIDS Day, Part II

I remember the first time I saw the AIDS memorial quilt. I was stunned to tears and silence by the enormity of the losses that each stitch represented.

In the mid to late eighties it seemed like every week someone I knew died of AIDS. It's actually been at least three years since I've lost a friend or colleague to this disease. But each year around the world three million die. 3,000,000. It's a huge loss.

I hold in my heart the memories of Bill Travis, who helped me design the Teen for AIDS program; Danny Jacobs, the membership coordinator at SIECUS; Carolyn's best friend Billy; my college friends: Marjorie, Lacey, Stuart; Rosella's brother John; my dear friend and colleague Jim A.; too many colleagues in HIV prevention to name.

I invite you today to pause and say a prayer for those you have lost...for all of those who the world has lost...and to recommit yourself. Preach about AIDS. Reach out to your local AIDS service provider. Make a donation. Teach your child about sexuality. Teach an adult about safer sex. Get tested. Write a letter to your Congressperson. Do something. Keep the promise.

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