The Saga Continues….Miseducation of A Nation!

D Best Of…The Saga Continues…

Miseducation of A Nation!

The Saga Continues..

The Miseducation of A Nation!

By Nevin Jefferson

All “PEOPLE” involved need to and must not make HIV/AIDS a Gay/Straight agenda driven issue. It should be and must be treated as a “Disease”, not an agenda. The HIV virus is not a politician gay or straight. It’s a virus that kills people and must be treated as such. If one should wonder why the funding is drying up its because most Americans don’t fund an agenda people in American more interested in fighting a disease not empowering sexual preference one over the other. Wednesday February 21st, in the zipping year thus far of 2007 was AIDS Awareness and Action Day. This is the day that yours truly goes Olympia, Washington to un-wash the sugar coated nonsense of the lives of those infected with HIV/AIDS. The headlines heralded “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 along with others infected with HIV that for the next 24 years…our bodies will host funguses, dementia, peripheral neuropathy (the one where your white blood cells eat the receptors of your nerve ending), diarrhea, nausea, skin liaisons, and all of the other life changing events from this monstrously, devastating viral disease. Like clockwork, I’m went 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 adverse illness from medications. Many are dying from other ailments. A Doctor confided in me that nine of the patients 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 2 years in Chemotherapy for KS and is now Cancer free with a high T-Cell count and un-dectable 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 in their 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. Diabetics 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 and State funds. Temporary Housing is no more; Vouches 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 recovering from pneumonia one could get setup for 2 weeks. A man who I know who’s homeless had pneumonia and a broken jaw and couldn’t get a voucher because the rules had changes. The same man of illing during the coldest part of winter couldn’t get admission into Bailey-Bousha. He recovered while outside in the cold, in the rain, 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 getting rich. But those in the know, give the Thanks, Praise, and Glory to God! 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 be the Ryan White fund without the protocol and procedures that deny the help needed to those who really, deeply, and truly in dying need of help. I’m making the suggestion along with the rest of the advocates/activists to put a million dollars back into the budget for this program. I’d like the cap on the Evergreen Program to be remove it’s a good program and the one that’s paying my Cobra Premium Payments. 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? Fat chance in Hell! The slashes from the razor has done extensive damage to those who’s well being depends on the programs that keep us going one day at a time. And I’m doing my part as well as the others who’re fighting for this cause.


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