July 13, 2009

July 13, 2009
Calling All PLWHA's - Are You There?

Welcome at another day in my life. Today is Monday and it is feeling like a Monday to me. How about you?

I am still recovering from recently re-injuring my lower back while working out. Luckily the pain is starting to subside so at least I can get in and out of bed and the couch by myself. It will be a couple of weeks before I will be able to workout again unfortunately. I hate set backs especially since I had worked so hard to get back into great shape.

But I would like to talk about another unfortunate situation today. And that is the involvement of my HIV/AIDS brothers and sisters in our community.

As a member of the PLWHA committee I was thoroughly surprised this month when we had a public hearing for PLWHA's from the community to express their needs and concerns about services, funding and just basic social networking within the HIV community and absolutely no one showed up.

Now either researchers have discovered a cure of which I have no knowledge or complacency is running a muck in our HIV and AIDS community. On a daily basis, I hear the "wrong doings" of agencies or how the funding cuts are ruining people's lives and making it impossible to make ends meet. Still no one was there.

I have seen the PLWHA's committee schedule posted in doctors offices, clinics and all AIDS service and case management agencies. Still no one was there.

I refuse to believe that PLWHA's only show up when it is "free or they get something". I guess that is because I have been an activist for our community since the start of the epidemic.

I have been arrested for "civil disobedience" for public demonstrations, marches and protests. I had my picture on Newsweek with other activists when we chained ourselves to the gate at the White House in the '80s to call attention to President Regan never saying the word HIV or AIDS until after the death of Rock Hudson in '85. When we had no funding to take care of people with HIV and AIDS, no medications to safe lives.

Everyone complains about the injustice and stigma of PLWHA's and yet no one seems to want to stand up and take responsibility for what happens to us as a community. I am asking all PLWHA's gay, straight, black, white, hispanic and asian to start ACTING UP!

Let yourselves be known and heard. We are never going to make it through this if we do not stand up and take responsibility for ourselves. I am not sure about the rest of the community but I sure am tired of being told what my services will be. So now I am taking part and having a say in the process.

I am not asking for a long or in depth commitment. It is simpler than it seems. So give your ASO or case management agency a call and inquire about the time and location for the PLWHA meetings.

The more you know...

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab