I mean I knew it was coming, but I wasn't prepared for the feelings I would experience. I have found myself grieving over so much loss. Completely preventable loss.
The loss my son has endured, at the hands of this illness. The illness that now inhabits his tiny little body. The years of stigma that have permeated this world, and continue to invade the lives of innocent people. People that either didn't know the consequences, or who chose to ignore them and now live each day remembering. The years of wasted time on research because of prejudice and misinformation.
For instance did you know that HIV cannot be transmitted casually? HIV is NOT spread through contact with saliva, urine, sweat or feces and cannot be transmitted through mosquito bites. Did you know the virus HIV is actually VERY hard to transmit. A quote given to me today out of the book '100 Questions and Answers about HIV and AIDS' by Joel Gallant MD says, "The simple fact is that if no one shared needles and everyone wore condoms during sex, the HIV epidemic would disappear."
Tonight we attended a service at a nearby church where we were asked to speak about HIV/AIDS. It was a small but moving service. Don and I spoke about how HIV has affected our lives. There was a candle lighting service. We lit candles for those that lost the battle with AIDS or those we want to honor who are living with it now. I couldn't help but grieve for the loss that made my son an orphan. For the loss of those children left behind, who by no fault of their own have become the least of these in the eyes of their society. That are also waiting for a family to call their own.
Little Tilahun, who passed away recently. Those that passed while my little E was fighting for his own life in the hospital in ET, with no mommy or daddy to love them.
The other day I was reading an article in S's Seventeen magazine about a teenage girl that contracted HIV through unprotected sex. I chose to use that article as education for her. To remind her that this is a serious and 100% preventable illness. And that her body is sacred and holy in the eyes of God.
Please take a minute to visit:
And to learn even more from someone who says it better than me go here
If we each learn something new, and share it with other's perhaps we can help eradicate the stigma that surrounds this illness.