Tag Archives: AIDS

Chapter 83: Comrades in Arms | My Southern Gothic Life

I posted a new post on my other blog a couple of days ago.

Here is an excerpt and a link to the full post:


It seems every generation has their wars; some are just more obvious than others.

I’ve been reading a biography of the poet Siegfried Sassoon and studying the British “War Poets” of the First World War.  Stories of young men struggling with the realities of war and trying to reconcile them with the peaceful, conventional world they were fighting to preserve.  Many of them were young men trying to reconcile their sexuality with the roles they were raised to play in a world that was fast disappearing.

In theory, my generation had no wars.  We were too young for Vietnam and too old for the first Gulf War.  I remember being in my early teens when the Vietnam War ended.  I remember being outside as fireworks exploded and everyone tried to make merry over the fact the Paris Peace Accords had ended a war no one had really wanted by then.  I remember my neighbor, whose son had safely survived the conflict, hugging me and saying:  “I’m so glad you won’t have to go to war.  You are safe.  We can all get back to normal.”

More:   Chapter 83: Comrades in Arms | My Southern Gothic Life.

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How to Survive a Plague

There is a new documentary making the festival circuit called “How to Survive a Plague.”

It’s about the early days of ACT UP and people standing up to government inaction in the early days of the AIDS Crisis.  I’m old enough to remember those scary days of the 1980’s when young men were dying and the government was not taking any action to find out why or how to stop it.

Many people are alive today because of these brave activist of ACT UP.  They made the government, the health care industry and the pharmaceutical industry pay attention.  They were mad as hell and didn’t take it any more….

Where is that energy today?  Cynicism and acceptance of the status quo are way too prevalent now….

Here is the trailer.  I can’t wait to see this….

And here is a link to the film’s website:  http://surviveaplague.com

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AIDS Memorial Quilt Marks 25 Years with Display in D.C.

Let’s never forget….

And keep this in mind as we await the Republican controlled Supreme Courts decision on Health Care Reform (aka Obamacare) tomorrow….

Striking down this legislation will have a great impact on people with pre-existing conditions, including AIDS, and vastly limit access to affordable Healthcare.


From USA Today:


It was on June 27, 1987, when a group of grieving friends and loved ones hung a 40-panel quilt from a balcony in San Francisco to memorialize 40 lives lost to AIDS. Their act inspired thousands of mothers, brothers, friends and lovers to make and send in their own panels and, soon, that quilt became the world’s biggest piece of folk art and the nation’s most tangible symbol of the epidemic.

Today, the AIDS Memorial Quilt contains more than 47,000 panels with the names of more than 93,000 people. Laid end to end, they would stretch more than 50 miles. Displaying the whole thing is such a huge undertaking that it hasn’t been tried since 1996.

But it’s about to be done, in a series of events that begins Wednesday, the 25th anniversary of that first display.

The entire quilt is coming back to Washington, D.C., where it was shown several times between 1987 and 1996. Pieces will be on display during the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, June 27 to July 1 and July 4 to July 8. Then, from July 21 to July 25, organizers hope to roll out every segment of the 54-ton quilt, in stages, on the National Mall and in more than 50 venues around the city, during the International AIDS Conference.

At a time when AIDS is often out of the daily headlines and when treatments make long lives possible for many with the disease, the quilt is a reminder that people with HIV still matter and that the disease still kills, says Julie Rhoad president of the Names Project Foundation, the Atlanta-based custodian of the quilt: “Those who have no access to care are dying rapid, hard deaths and they are invisible.”

More:   AIDS Memorial Quilt marks 25 years with display in D.C. – USATODAY.com.

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