I heard the voices of friends vanished and gone

I’m a little behind here. It’s really time for my annual Black Friday outrage post, but it’s already World AIDS Day.

World AIDS day means that it’s a year later and there is no cure. It means another 50,000 Americans were infected with the virus last year. It means the pandemic rages on in sub-Saharan Africa.

I was listening to NPR the other morning and they were talking about how HIV works. I can’t find the article on their website to link back but the Dr. they were interviewing was talking about how it’s a three pronged issue. Prevention. Vaccination. Management.

There is a lot of different places for money to have to go with that scenario. He was saying that basically if a patient in sub-Saharan Africa could be taking the current treatment and miss a week and end up with full blown AIDS in as little as a week.  Apparently the virus is so prolific that it adapts and mutates that quickly.

Currently 20% of the people in the US who have AIDS don’t know their status.  Really.

And here we go…I’m riding the AIDS/Lifecycle again this year.

It was Day 4 last year.  The speaker in the mess tent was talking about how some of us would only ride that year and others would ride until there was a cure.  He talked about how it didn’t matter what category you fell in to that this Ride will have changed your life.  At the end of Day 4 the Ride had changed my ass too.  There wasn’t enough chamois cream in the world, I’d been to the medical unit’s “Butt Clinic” twice by then and I really wanted a hot bath.

I thought “I’m a one and out” to myself.  Then my cycling rep Russ came and sat down next to me.  He started talking about the Ride and how much he loved the Ride.  Russ is the guy whose daughter saved the motorcyclist’s life only to find out he was HIV+.  Russ rambled on for a while about the importance of the Ride and his love for everyone that was out there.  And then he got up and left.

Being on a bike for 8 hours a day gives you plenty of time to think, although Day 5 was the short day.  40 miles.  Red dresses.  By the end of Day 5 I knew I wasn’t a one and outter at all.

I’m in.

I’m in for all the same reasons as I was last year.  The December Project last year was pretty awesome, but I’m not doing anything like that this year.  I’ll think of something else interesting.  I don’t know what it’s going to be.

The December Project woefully overlooked an amazing woman, a firebrand and a powerful advocate against AIDS.

This year’s ride will be dedicated to Elizabeth Taylor.  Since her passing last March I’ve been on an Elizabeth Taylor film festival.  I don’t have that much time to watch movies, but I’ve been working my way through all of them.  Current favorite is Reflections in a Golden Eye with The Sandpiper as a close runner up.  But more importantly she founded amfAR.  That matters.

Good on Alicia Keys for stepping up big time.  She’s all over Twitter this morning.

Click here to support my ride.

As always, thank you for your support.






One Comment

  • dolphyngyrl

    I think what I hate most about this disease (and cancer) is that I don’t believe it will ever be cured as long as not curing it remains more profitable. That, for me, is the biggest tragedy.

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