Friday, December 1, 2017

World Aids Day 2017

I don't know that we will ever fully appreciate the toll that the AIDS crisis took on the world during the 1980s. For starters, the statistics are notoriously inaccurate because many of the people afflicted didn't want to spend the last years of their lives shunned by a supposedly civilized world. But even the reported numbers are staggering: By the end of the decade, the number of AIDS cases in the U.S. had reached 100,000 people.

By the end of 1990, more 307,000 AIDS cases had been officially reported, but even those numbers are likely conservative. Some projections speculate that the number is closer to one million. Between 8 and 10 million people were thought to be living with HIV worldwide that year.

The disease took a disproportionate toll on the cast of DARK SHADOWS. At least three actors from the series died from HIV-related illnesses: Joel Crothers, Kieth Prentice and Christopher Bernau. It's difficult not to get angry when thinking about the cultural apathy that met the so-called "gay plague." For far too many people, the word "gay" cancelled whatever initiative and/or terror the word "plague" should otherwise have inspired. Holocausts can only happen when people allow them to, and America absolutely allowed one to happen during the 1980s.

While the battle has since taken a more noble turn, the war has not been won. Below are two notable HIV/AIDS organizations that would benefit from any giving you do around the holidays. (Or any other time of year, for that.)

amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research
amfAR is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, education and the advocacy of AIDS-related public policy. The nonprofit is an industry leader in finding a permanent cure. Donate HEREYour tax-deductible contribution to amfAR will support the lifesaving research that is key to finding new treatments, better prevention methods, and eventually, a cure for HIV/AIDS.

Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
EGPAF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing pediatric HIV infection and eliminating pediatric AIDS through research, advocacy and prevention, care, and treatment programs. EGPAF works in 15 countries around the world. Donate HERE.

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