I care about schizophrenia, and I care about mental health, but I also care about racism, equality, feminism, healthcare, the homeless, and many other issues. I think mostly I care about people.
This article from The New Yorker showed up on my Facebook feed yesterday.
I saw after reading the article that it was published in 2013, but if young gay men are still having sex without condoms, (and people using dirty needles for drugs) I’d like them to read this.
In the article the author says 1983 was terrible. In my life, it was the early 90’s. It seemed like every week another person from my brother’s circle of friends tested positive for HIV. Because of the stigma of AIDS, there were suicides.
My brother’s partner started to get confused. He started acting strange at work. Someone from his place of employment called my brother. Later, we found out it was a tumor in his brain. My brother quit his job to give round-the-clock care. There were hallucinations. There was delirium. There were moments of recognition and moments of complete incomprehension. There were visions. There were purple lesions on his skin. There was weight loss. There were sunken eyes. Eventually, there was wasting so far away that death came.
Not just to our world, but to the community around us. The same hideous drama was playing out all over Seattle, San Francisco, New York.
It was a dark and desperate and terrible time. I don’t want young people to experience what those of us who are older know – AIDS can be like a plague and can kill friends, family, coworkers, and lovers.
In those days grief was a constant state – one loss being packed upon the next.
Having to experience those dark days can be avoided by condoms and clean needles. I urge you to take care of this, because there are people who care about you.