I often forget that my friend Joseph Healy is HIV, he sent me this from his blog on World Aids Day, many people are forgotten.
So for many of these people living long term with HIV and with all of the former social networks gone (work, HIV support groups etc) they are expected to disappear from the scene, to be housebound and to live in penury. This is their reward for having lived beyond their 'sell by date' and for struggling for years against illness and depression. It is not surprising that some of the survivors I have known have committed suicide or had breakdowns. This caring sharing country regards them as being excess to requirments and a burden on the system. Not much different really to what the survivors of World War 1 discovered when they returned to a country which they had bene promised would be "a land fit for heroes". What they found instead was poverty, disabiliy and neglect.
So when today the gliterati and celebrities at some of the large organisations and elsewhere are marking World Aids Day, spare a thought for the long term survivors here who have been through all of it, seen friends and lovers die and are now just an afterthought. For them World Aids Day leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. We should remember them and campaign to give them better treatment that what many of them are currently receiving at the hands of local and national government.
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