Thank you for joining me in this cause!
When I first moved to San Francisco in 1996 I was shocked how visible the HIV pandemic was here. Cruelly-named drug side effects like "crixbelly" and "buffalo hump", facial wasting, stick-like arms and legs... I ran into a co-worker on the street one day, pushing a man I guessed to be his grandfather in a wheelchair. It was his boyfriend. Coming from rural central Pennsylvania, I had read about HIV and seen programs about it on TV, but had never witnessed its ravages first hand. It blew me away.
Almost 20 years later, you don't see these things much any more. It leaves people to think HIV is no big deal now. It's been "dealt with".
Not so. Every 9 1/2 minutes someone in the US is infected with HIV, and in California alone there will be 7,000 new infections this year. There's still much work to be done.