AIDS, and the HIV virus, more than any other social issue or disease, show how uniquely is the American transition from fear and hysterical panic to smug indifference, two extremes which in their own way, distract from winning the fight.
AIDS appears in the American consciousness once a year, at the time of the world conference, when the media reviews the progress on preventions and vaccines, often without reminding communities and individuals of the shifting center of the diseased population or how people can protect themselves and prevent its spread. In many communities, HIV-AIDS has no local face,
Yet we all know it does. Especially in the South, where the epicenter of new AIDS infections, the largest growing cohort, are young, low income black males, many in rural communities. The general conversation seldom targets this specific or acknowledges the rapid and dramatic shift in geography, income, and race of those infected. A local face looks back and holds us accountable to help prevent others from becoming infected.
And those local faces need funds and new strategies.