Robin Langdale, Seattle, diagnosed in 1986
I would like to see more progress toward a cure or an AIDS vaccine. We are in a maintenance stage of the disease, and that is profitable and comfortable. Also, I hope that our society’s attitude will change. Right now, our country is so uptight. We must talk about things a majority of us might find uncomfortable, such as fear, denial, immortality, sex and drugs. Oh wait, did I just say S-E-X?
Alicia Lowe, San Jose, diagnosed in 2002
I would like to see people better educated about HIV and AIDS. When I talk to people about my HIV status, they automatically think I have AIDS—even after I try to explain to them what the difference is, they’re still confused. We all need to have good insurance to cover our medications and other health-related expenses. While the Ryan White CARE Act and ADAP are good—they just are not enough.
Monte Wolf, Washington, DC, diagnosed in 2004
We have to be a lot more creative about ways to reach people with regard to HIV prevention. As an activist and advocate, I have found that both HIV-positive and negative people are very responsive to and can gain insight and education from arts-based outreach such as theater, music, spoken word and film programs. It’s like getting your medicine without swallowing the huge bitter pill—no pun intended.
Johnny Guaylupo, Brooklyn, diagnosed in 1998
Hopefully in the year 2031 more doctors will feel comfortable enough to work with diverse com-munities and be able to speak about sensitive issues such as sex, drugs and homosexuality. Also, scientists should stay strong and united with the community to ultimately do what’s best for us—not for corporations. And most important, the AIDS community needs to stick together and continue the fight. If we do, then maybe when 2031 comes around, we’ll call AIDS a terrible disease that killed may people, but one we now have under control.
For more info, visit aids2031.org