Why We Care
by Jeff Berry
This issue has been one of the most enjoyable issues of Positively Aware that I have had the privilege to be a part of during my last four and a half years as editor. Throughout the process, I learned a great deal about how HIV has affected and drawn together people from very diverse walks of life. Some who are living with the virus in their bodies, and others for whom HIV has infected and ravaged their communities, their family members, and their friends. These individuals have decided to try to make a difference, in whatever way they can. HIV has stirred them to action, and no action is too small, or too trivial, to be counted.
On these pages you’ll find just a small sampling, a minute cross-section if you will, of the countless, untold stories that unfold in the deadly wake of HIV. It’s so vitally important to tell these stories, each and every one of them. No one, specific story is more or less important than another, and each one differs radically from the next. Some are inspiring. Others are bittersweet. And many, far too many, have ended in tragedy, loss, and heartache. But together they weave a tapestry of hope and light.
I’d also invite our readers to share with us your stories, or the story of someone you know, or knew, who has overcome adversity in the face of HIV. Someone whose strength, and courage, inspires you to carry on, and to have hope. Shoot us an e-mail at email@example.com, or send us a link to your video on YouTube. We want to hear from you!
While putting the “finishing touches” on this issue I felt compelled to re-read some of the articles and musings in TPANews, the forerunner of Positively Aware. TPANews was the monthly newsletter of Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN), and one of the few sources of information for people living with HIV in Chicago in the late 1980’s. This was before the advent of the Internet and the information superhighway (do they even call it that anymore?), and people depended on the newsletter to improve their health and survival, and to hear about how others overcame their own struggles.
It’s always interesting to read some of these stories; I’m continually struck by how appropriate they are, even to this day. If you change some of the names, dates, and therapies being used, you wouldn’t know that they were written 20 years ago.
So in keeping with the theme of this issue, I’d like to share with you an edited version of the following, which originally appeared in the December 1989 issue of TPANews.
Take care of yourself, and each other.