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February 23, 2007
SGN.org
Volume 35
Issue 08
 
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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019

 

 



 
The miseducation of our folks in office
The miseducation of our folks in office
by Nevin Jefferson - SGN Contributing Writer

Wednesday February 21st, in the zipping year thus far of 2007, is AIDS Awareness and Action Day. This is the day that yours truly gets to go to Olympia to un-wash the sugar coated and white washed B.S. that's wrapped around the brains of the folks that make up our Legislature. The headlines heralding the latest hula-dup-ya is the know-it-all comment from the mouths of our elected friends and foes. Last year, it was: "AIDS isn't a problem anymore since there's medication that keeps us going." This year it's: "People are living longer, up to 24 years, with the medication that's available." Oh joy, I get to ride an oversized, motorized, tricycle in my elder years. I'm simply thrilled that -- along with others for the next 24 years --our bodies will host dementia, peripheral neuropathy (the one where your white blood cells eat the receptors of your nerve endings), diarrhea, nausea, skin liaisons, and all of the other life changing events from this bitch of a virus!

Like clockwork, I'm going with the gang from Chicken Soup Brigade (Life Long AIDS Alliance) on the CSB Bus. It'll like a school trip complete with a brown bag lunch. Yummy!

"People are living longer". But, they're getting sicker because they're living longer. Not to mention the adverse illnesses from medications. Many are dying from other ailments. A doctor confided in me that nine of the patients he tended to are all dying from something else. Treatment is being given for other ailments and not the HIV. A growing number of POZ Gay men are losing their eyesight in their left eye. People who I know have disappeared and reappeared in perfect health. One POZ male spent two years in chemotherapy for K.S. and is now cancer free with a high t-cell count and un-detectable viral load (no trace of the virus in the body). One POZ male suffers from the double whammy of HIV and HEP-C -- all from the poor choices and bad decision-making he made in his life. Several men have gone through chemo and radiation for Lymphoma and are improving each time I meet and greet them. A dear friend of mine passed away last year from Lymphoma. Another friend from un-natural causes because the autopsy found not one of the leading causes of death.

Diabetes is the latest nightmare in healthcare for POZ folks. I should know because I was just diagnosed with it! This was the good news in my life that's a comedy of errors, perils, weird, and extremely strange. In the throws of my life, I get to deal with the Big D! I'm also suffering from high blood pressure (higher than a commune of hippies!) that also makes me a candidate for strokes. And just think gang, I have 24 years to deal with the latest of medicines for all of my ailments in my medicine cabinets (Yes, cabinets. In both bathrooms!). I'm living longer. But am I living better? In the major cities there are numerous HIV/AIDS people who are homeless due to slashes in Federal funds. Temporary housing is no more; vouchers for motels and hotels aren't available anymore if you're sick and recovering outside. You have to be on a list with a firm move-in no longer than 2 weeks to get the vouchers. It's the only way to qualify, period!

Once upon a time, if one had broken bones or was recovering from pneumonia one could get setup for two weeks. A man who I know whose homeless had pneumonia and a broken jaw and couldn't get a voucher because the rules had changes. The same ailling man -- during the coldest part of winter -- couldn't get admission into Bailey-Boushay. He recovered while outside in the cold, in the rain, and behind a dumpster, which he ate from. For all of the sick, suffering, and homeless, I pray for the Grace of God to see us all through. People are living longer with the power of prayer that brings love, compassion, comfort, and healing to all of God's Children in their time of need. The news headlines can give credit to the pharmacy companies who are getting rich. But those in the know, give the thanks, praise, and glory to God!

So, when one of the Legislators or Congress-people quotes the headline to the Black Gay man with HIV/AIDS like it's more exciting than the Hula Hoop and even better than sliced bread. They're going to get an education that they'll never forget. The one thing that I'd like to see happen is for the funds and programs slashed and bagged to be reinstated for all of the people in need. I'd also like the Ryan White Fund to be without the protocols and procedures that deny needed help to those who really, deeply, and truly are in dying need. The AIDS Clinical Trail Unit has just undergone a 70% cut in their budget, with staffing changes that left a group of amazing, dynamic, medical professionals unemployed. I'm in a new medication study because I'm resistance with mutation. Yes, folks, I'm a walking Sci-Fi movie. Where am I to go if it doesn't work? In a box in a field, pushing up the daisies with my group of famous peers who've gone before me.
 

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