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Cory Doctorow

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

2009 World AIDS Day 2009 in Whittier California

My apologies for the long break in between postings. With the ebbing and flowing of politics in Washington D.C over health insurance reform and everyone with an educated opinion (and some without) guessing how the Bill will look and whether or not it will pass through Congress, it's a bit easier to just find a nice large piece of driftwood and watch the show.

It's virtually impossible to let a day go by without health on anyone's mind. I am certainly no exception.

One of my employers was kind enough to extend to me an immunization shot for Influenza A & B early last month. Even with this precaution, I managed to still pick up an intestinal virus this past weekend that had me .. uh .. occupied .. for much of this past week. Even as I type this, some of the muscles in my legs were weakened enough that I've had to walk with a cane for the first time in my life. Blessedly, as each day passes, my strength returns.

My employer gave me the paid time off so that I could rest. I have health insurance so I could see the doctor who could figure out what was wrong with me and give me the go-ahead to indulge in a sugary sports drink to rehydrate. Then, with the prescription benefit I have with my employer, I was able to get some anti-nausea medication and recuperate my waning appetite.

Too many of us in this country are not as fortunate as I am. Whether the legislation in the works will give more of us access to the kind of coverage I have is out of my hands.

Here is what I can do:

A week from Tuesday is World AIDS Day. Remembrances, red ribbons and other events are planned for that day and an event near you may be listed by clicking here. (dates are listed European style, meaning day/month/year). I will be at this memorial service:

Good Samaritan Metropolitan Community Church (click for address & directions)
Tuesday December 1, 2009
Service starts at 7 pm. Please bring a photo of someone who has died from AIDS and/or who is battling with this disease and has inspired you.

No matter whether people gather at a place of worship, a community center and/or process through their town holding lit candles, there is no observance too small to make a difference to someone. With few exceptions, I am at a World AIDS Day services/marches/observance each year. Unlike most my age, I have only lost person I loved to AIDS. Like most who are younger than me, I know so many more friends who live with the virus every day and stories of survival with HIV of 10, 15 or even more than 20 years are becoming the norm.

Though my loss came at a time when AIDS was a "death sentence", December 1st brings the feelings up as if it just happened. It helps me to be with others who know how this feels and maybe provides some comfort to someone else there.

If I am fortunate to live long enough and we are smart and hard working enough, I look forward to the day when World AIDS days are mentioned in history books.

Until then, I hope to see you on Tuesday, December 1.

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