So here’s the thing: I am a *Long Term Survivor Living with HIV. 28 years give or take a few. It has not been easy, and it is becoming increasingly more challenging as the years go by. By no means am I the only one, either! There are quite a few of us LTS. We have weathered the storm, and we continue to weather the storm. A much different storm than those diagnosed within the last decade or so.
Now when it comes to HIV, and the medications that are now available; folks with HIV are living longer, and there is even medication for folks at risk to take to help prevent contracting the disease, called PrEP.
I remember years past, that every World AIDS Day, on December 1st, you had events all over the place. You could pick and choose events to go to. Folks wore their red ribbons, in honor of someone passed away or in recognition of the day. Services were held in houses of worship. People came together to recognize World AIDS Day. Not so much anymore.
Let me be a little more specific: there are fundraisers going on. That is good. There are events going on in certain demographics. But here in Philly? Not so much.
Yes, there are prayer breakfasts. But that doesn’t necessarily feed my spirit. I’m just being honest. Prayer is good, but then what????
I feel like the focus has been taken off this disease and how insidious it can be, how insidious it is. We are still living in a crisis. I speak for myself, because it is personal for me.
There are faith based organizations and church websites who espouse the ministry of HIV/AIDS…and that is really all it is. Oh! some are good at ministering to those outside of this country, but we…ahem…I need help right here. Where are the congregations recognizing World AIDS Day….in Philadelphia? I am sure there are some…I am probably just out of the loop.
I want to go to a church for World AIDS Day. I want to know that in the faith community, HIV is still an important issue. There are people out here that need to feel they are loved by God.
I want to be with others like myself. I don’t want others talking for me, who have no idea what it means to be living with this disease, much less what it means and how it feels to be a long term survivor.
What is your faith community doing this World AIDS Day, besides talking the talk?
Prayers and Promises, Promises and Prayers….
We need you to walk the walk with us…
We need you to keep the promise.
Prayers and Promises…WAD2016