AIDS, Influenza, and Media.

I don’t know how I really feel about the whole pigflu situation. I do believe it’s in need of a better name and that so jokes may cease. But, my biggest problem is the propaganda that’s coming with it. I feel like twitter is flooded with idiots who don’t know what the heck they’re talking about… like shown on xkcd:

With this, people are FREAKING OUT. I guess it makes sense. But to so easily declare it an epidemic, or rather a “phase 5 pandemic” and people are worried because people are catching it left and right.

I almost understand the fear and the homophobia that came out of the 80’s with the rise of the AIDS EPIDEMIC

AND GUESS WHAT?! THAT EPIDEMIC IS NOT OVER.THAT PANDEMIC IS NOT OVER.

I feel like the panicking and the fear and the racism (especially towards immigrant Mexican/Latinos) has gotten so whack we have forgotten from the past. Or we have ignored it.

Although the means of spreading said influenza are different than that of a sexually transmitted disease, I feel like what this new pandemic is doing, has totally caused us to forget and silence the HIV/AIDS epidemic worldwide.

HIV/AIDS first made it’s rise in the late 70’s (though debatable) and into the early 80’s, by the mid-80’s and early 90’s, we lost a large population of the LGBT community, the black community, the Haitian community, and so many other  groups that have been SILENCED AND IGNORED.

According to the World Health Organization (same group who declared a phase 5 pandemic):

3 million people are living with HIV due to IV drug use.

In 2007, 33-36 million people are reported for living with HIV. This does not include those who obviously do not know they are infected.  30 million, adults. 15 million, women.

In 2007, roughly 2 million people died from AIDS.This does not include those who did not know they were positive, and may have died from HIV/AIDS-related causes.

More than 25 million people have died from AIDS since 1981.

9.7 million people are in life-threatening situations in regards to their health, the virus, and the syndrome.

It’s not a gay disease. It’s not a drug addict’s disease. It’s not a black disease.

AIDS affects us all.

Just like the swine flu. People want to talk about how it’s coming from across the border, and about “who” is bringing it. Disease should not be about the nature of who is bringing it, but rather how it is spread.

AIDS is not a matter of who is giving it, it’s about the problems and the reasons as to why it’s being spread and transmitted. The lack of education, funding, resources, RESEARCH; the homophobia, the racism, the classism, the religions.

Seriously people? The only reason why people are caring about swine in this country is because more well-to-do people are getting sick. If this influenza did not go past the border, who’s going to notice it? Seriously, let’s be honest.

OUR MEDIA FUCKING SUCKS. WE GLORIFY, WE INTENSIFY, WE EXAGGERATE, WE LIE.

The reason we have no cure for HIV/AIDS is because of the way our media portrayed the disease. Watch “Philadelphia,” and you’ll know. Tom Hanks did not portray a strong gay man. It was not a gay movie. It was a straight man’s gay movie about a really straight* gay man.

*Straight by what society defines as. Middle aged lawyer. Not some fabulous queen.

The stereotypes should repulse you. You should be upset that that was the movie that put AIDS as a concern into American homes.

40,000 people had died from AIDS/72,000 people were living with HIV/AIDS before Ronald Reagan discussed it while president.

And still no cure. Still no vaccine. Still no real proactive medication. You’re full of shit if you tell me the cocktails are working.

So a few deaths of the upper class, and AMERICANS; we suddenly care…and it’s the whole new outbreak (snoutbreak?) of fear.

People once thought you could catch AIDS on a toilet seat.

People now think you can catch swine flu on a toilet seat as well.

People once thought it was just a gay disease.

“Well, now it’s all coming from across the border from the dirty immigrants”**

**(Heard that one this morning)

I seriously do not feel what is going on right now requires the panic, the propaganda, nor the rhetoric. And it angers me to see the “values” and standards of international health/social interests and motives. The way this situation is being handled does lead cause for concern, and I do not demean those who have died, or are hurting because of said illness. However, it angers me that this reaction has lead to action far more quicker than what has occured in the history of the AIDS epidemic. And do not tell me the epidemic is over.

I am still waiting for a cure. I am still wanting answers.

I will eat my bacon, and I will ride the bus. I’m getting carnitas on for lunch on Friday while I go to the Labor Protest/Celebration in Dolores Park.

And that’s about it.

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