This past election, the term "civil rights" was a buzzword. I have to admit, I don't fully understand the enormous cost, and full impact of the Civil Rights Movement; but every once in a while, when the news played clips of emotionally charged moments from that Movement....I was stunned. How could we have segregated ourselves? How could we have denied other human beings the right to equality?
We patted ourselves on the back and took pride in "how far we've come," with this historical presidential election. But, if we've really come so far....why does my husband feel he has to sneak taking his meds at work?
The truth is, people with HIV/AIDS and their families, need our own Civil Rights Movement. Every person affected by this illness has a story of discrimination to tell. Doctors that were rude and insensitive. Friends who stopped calling. Preachers who preached that HIV is "God's wrath on homosexuals."
My husband and I don't tell people anymore. And I suspect there are many out there just like us. Enduring the silent discrimination and ignorance of people who don't understand what their words or actions mean...
Yesterday at work, the topic of World AIDS Day came up. My supervisor said, "Having a day devoted to AIDS awareness just makes AIDS seem glamorous. We should have them all in quarantines....that's the real cure for AIDS."
Have we really come so far?