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Elemental
Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

AIDS

In Elemental. More on Medium.

Sadly, the lessons are being ignored

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

I remember, as a teenager, first hearing about AIDS. It’s a foggy memory of a news broadcaster talking about Rock Hudson dying. And I remember not knowing who that was, but my mom was distraught, tears rolling down her face.

“Why are you crying, Mom?”

“Rock Hudson was such an idol of mine. I can’t believe he’s gay and has AIDS.”

It left an indelible welt on me that continued to grow and redden with every passing year, sexual awakening, and HIV scare. My dad (like myself, a gay man) kept his orientation secret from my mom during the early…


Diagnosed at the peak of the AIDS epidemic, many long-term survivors are faced with a heavy psychological and financial burden today

Visitors embrace at a display of the AIDS memorial quilt on the National Mall on May 10, 1992. Photo: Jeffrey Markowitz/Sygma/Getty Images

Sean McKenna opened his eyes and was surprised to find himself alive.

He reached out to touch the things around him, confirming their physical existence and, by extension, his own. He turned on the small television next to his hospital bed just as Bette Midler was singing a song from her new album on the Today show.

That threw him for a moment. If there was a heaven, Bette Midler would surely be in it.

The previous night, when McKenna closed his eyes to go to sleep, he had made his peace with the idea that he might not wake…

Elemental

Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

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