October / November #4 : RPF - by Richard Perez-Feria

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues

Table of Contents

Proud Mary



AIDS and Health Scare Reform

HMOs Will Kill Us All

Oh Boy!

Rising Sun?

Chinese Medicine Takes Root

Savage Grace

Sister Act

Does Reality Bite?

A Dance Story

Philadelphia, the Prequel?

Another Patsy, Bill?

Swing Shift

AIDS: American as Apple Pie

Whose Advocate?

TAG, ACT UP in Hot Fax War

Alice’s Wonderland

AIDS Law: Overruled

POZ VCR: More Proof

AIDS Zen: Party

House Call

Tea Time

Sex: In Search Of

Life: Do Good Intentions Kill?

Health: Everybody Means Everybody

Alternative Health: What About Us?

Media: Blow Hards

POZ Insider

Checking In: Love Matters

People Like Them: Sign o' the Pines

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

email print

October / November 1994


by Richard Perez-Feria

When is enough enough?

We all know the drill. When did it happen? When is the service? I know, I can't believe it, either. Everything we say when someone passes is so meaningless and hollow; yet, what can we say, really? Do we ever say how unbelievably angry we are? Do we ever say how frustrated and guilty and sad we feel? Do we ever, ever say what we really think? Of course not. That wouldn't be polite. And as Americans, we are nothing if not polite, particularly in matters of death and disease.

In the course of four days recently I lost three people I knew to AIDS. Three people. People I shared secrets with. People who helped me and made me laugh -- often. People who swore that they loved me and I them. How many stories of fallen heroes must we retell before everybody else out there, way out there -- parents, employers, next-door neighbors -- listens to us?

Fessing up, I have never been affiliated with no-holds-barred activism of any kind. As a Cuban-American raised in the super-charged, politically volatile community that is Miami, I have, as a matter of public record, aggressively stayed far away from the frighteningly jingoistic and frequently neo-Fascistic debates that have enraged that city since the 70s. When it came to AIDS, however, the question was recently put to me: "When, Richard, is enough enough?"

Indeed, how many more people in my life had to die before I pulled in the reins and took a clear, hard look at what I was doing on a personal level to help end this pandemic? A tough question. Was I doing everything I could do to help stop the spread of this senseless killer? No, I was not.

By putting all of my creative energies into POZ, I initially thought I could simultaneously satisfy my creative urges as well as do something constructive and real about AIDS. And to a large extent that goal has been met. But being editor of a national AIDS magazine did not soften the pain I felt last week when my friends died. It did not alleviate my sorrow. It did not stop my blinding anger. Luckily for my co-workers and friends, I have made a career out of disguising my feelings. No one truly knows how I feel about matters of the heart. But I know. I know.

I can only hope that the next time someone calls to tell me another beautiful person I knew and loved has died of AIDS, I have the simple courage to confront my pain. We just can't stop fighting and we can't stop feeling now, can we? We've come so far already but, of course, we have got to do more, lots more. We have to openly, intelligently, incessantly talk about AIDS with them -- those people we all deal with who do not know and do not care about AIDS because, they say, AIDS doesn't affect them directly. Every single day, we must use the word AIDS in a sentence to someone new. Can you imagine the discussion that would spur?

When we begin to accept a PWA's death as just another fact of life, we throw in the towel in the fight we're all in. You and I, bound together by a shared desire for awareness, compassion and action on AIDS, remain the good guys in these harrowing times so rife with frustration and angst.

So, what to do? All we've got to do -- and do it every single day -- is tell the world how we feel about AIDS, unedited. Our dignity -- and our very lives -- may well depend on it. Haven't you had enough?

Scroll down to comment on this story.


(will display; 2-50 characters)


(will NOT display)


(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The POZ team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include either ":" or "@" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules

Show comments (0 total)

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Did you participate in an event for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.