One thing that hit me hard while watching Dallas Buyers Club: the fact that mainstream 1980s medical science was completely unprepared for the AIDS epidemic, coupled with the societal stigma/homophobia of the era, meant that the afflicted had to resort to their own means to survive. Meaning, outside of standard medical science.
It's amazing how much negativity you can disarm simply by owning said negative thing like it's a positive thing.
One of the long-term writing projects I had given myself in the past few years was to write a book on a lifetime of experience with HIV, less about my own story and more a commentary on being a child in the early AIDS era and how it impacted me as I grew older and HIV/AIDS grew downplayed into merely a "condition."
Before I begin, I'd like to issue the disclaimer that I don't want ANYONE to think that racism is more acceptable to me than HIV-phobia/ignorance. At my core, my greatest wish is to have all human beings treated with equality/respect as a matter of fact, not favor.
... Or have my values been colonized by the heteronormative hegemony of a previous generation?
It is the folly of the young to think their own generation was the first to come up with something, but I'd like to argue that 80s kids were the first Americans to receive "meditation training" in grade school.
My first week or two after diagnosis was, as stated prior, during "the Polar Vortex." Generally, I hibernate in winter. Negative-number temps brings this hibernation up to an art form.
Add recent medical news, and the only thing I was good for was arguing the case of Ass v. Sofa Cushion.
I will admit that for more than a dozen years now, I've found HIV utterly fascinating.
I have to be very careful here with my point in this post because I don't want to offend. I have always had a dark, shadowy, quasi-romantic view of those with HIV. Like. Dracula. Or The X-Men. They're mysterious ... and social outcasts.
A few years ago, I did some work volunteering for a project detailing the history of LGBT America. We had some fairly intense training sessions prior to launch, to make sure all volunteers were on the same page, especially where "sensitivity" and "political correctness" were concerned.
And yet: I'm fine. Better than fine, I'm thriving. Energy returning, shopping for gyms, et cetera. The life I knew, the gay culture I knew, the values I was instilled with... those are all dated and therefore pointless. The worldview I HAD is dead.