November #53 : Remembrance of Things Present - by Sean Strub

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Table of Contents

How to End the Epidemic

Blame It on Your Hormones

Both Sides Now

Editor's Letter

Mailbox-November 1999

Rock of Aegis

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Class Act

Drug Ads Add Up

Life is better with HIV, say 49% of positive folks.

"Should Marijuana Be Legal for Medical Purposes?"

Less than 3,000 Served

All the Lonely People

A Squeeze-In at the Summit

Remembrance of Things Present

Future Shock

Cho & Tell

Babe in Boyland

Bad Faith

Get Well Soon

Dr. Leather Meets Mr. Right

Ties That Bind

Supreme Sacrifice

Pregnant Poz

How to Have a Healthy Baby

Spare the Breast

Stop PCP Pills?

The Big Queasy

On the Rebound

From the Gut

Hoop Dreams

Arts

Milestones



Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


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November 1999

Remembrance of Things Present

by Sean Strub

While attending the Global Network of PWAs conference in Warsaw, I took a break to visit Auschwitz. As I toured the former death camp, I stared at exhibits--mountains of shoes, luggage and eyeglasses taken from newly arrived prisoners. Looking at the emptied Zyklon-B gas containers or at the "standing cell" torture chambers, it was difficult to fathom both the depth of hatred and the indifference that together allowed this mass murder to happen. Even faced with the proof of gas chambers, part of me wanted to reset the curtain over my eyes.
   
When I saw the crematorium and wished I hadn't, this feeling helped me to understand why not everyone who loved me had been in the streets a few years ago trying to save me and other PWAs. To believe me when I told them how bad things were would have been to acknowledge something so horrible they could not comprehend it. Even when confronted with the evidence of mounting deaths and genocidal government policies on AIDS, some refused to see the complicity in their inaction. And today, even people who witnessed firsthand the worst days seem anxious to forget.
   
But a few years ago, the One Institute in Los Angeles, which houses the world's largest archive of Gay and Lesbian Jewish history (www.usc.edu/isd/archives/oneigla/tb), took on the task of gathering literally millions of AIDS-related documents and artifacts. Now they are embarding on a massive project of digitizing their records to put them on the web.

The history of the disenfranchised has always been the last to be saved. We must make sure the real history of AIDS--what we've suffered and witnessed, not the sugar-coated version that will turn up as a paragraph in high school textbooks--is documented. And that we never forget.



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