As I'm sure you're all aware, today is World Aids Day. BowieNetter Jim (aka floidoip) has been infected with HIV/AIDS for the past 21 years, and here he has kindly agreed to write a short piece about his experiences of living with this most dreadful virus... but be warned, it's heartbreaking stuff. Jim has also supplied a few of the more depressing facts about HIV/AIDS.
I am Jim/floidoip, a member of your community at BowieNet. I'd like to impart a little experience of my 21 years living with HIV/AIDS. I've been sick many years, near death several times and resuscitated twice.
Nearly everyone I've known and loved in my gay community, in Atlantic City, is dead or sick. Now the younger generation of ALL walks of life, approx. 25 years old, is the fastest growing group contracting this killer virus. Women are the leading group.
I don't know if it is because people perceive AIDS as a gay disease still, not true, or there is a false sense of security because of medications available. I'm here to tell you the meds are equal to chemotherapy every day. You don't want and don't have to live this way.
My best friend Tim died Christmas Eve of 1995 only three months before David, the man I loved and planned to spend the rest of my life with, died in my arms. This is a small slice of what this pandemic has done.
The stigma of AIDS prevents many from getting tested. We MUST get beyond this. We've got to start talking about AIDS again. The media has dropped the ball. It can happen to you. I was exposed to HIV before it had a name. There was no way I could have prevented it. You have that opportunity.
I write this in honor of all of those who have died and for everyone living with HIV/AIDS. Please, honor your lives. Get informed. Here are just a few statistics from the Center for Disease Control.
Today, 40 million people are estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS. Of these, 37.1 million are adults. 18.5 million are women, and 3 million are children under 15.
During 2001, AIDS caused the deaths of an estimated 3 million people, including 1.1 million women and 580,000 children under 15.
Women are becoming increasingly affected by HIV. Approximately 50%, or 18.5 million, of the 37.1million adults living with HIV or AIDS worldwide are women.
The overwhelming majority of people with HIV - approximately 95% of the global total - now live in the developing world.
Thanx for that Jim, harrowing and worrying information as I'm sure you'll all agree. As many visitors to the MBs will already know, there are a couple of shops set up in honour of Jim. $4 from every purchase made at these online shops will go to