Today is the 22nd observance of World AIDS Day.
Many of you have grown up in a world where this terrible disease has always been a fact of life. But it hasn’t always been here, and it won’t be around forever. There have been remarkable acheivements that have allowed for long term survivors, and more discoveries are just around the corner. But at the same time, the number of people contracting this preventable disease continues to climb around the world, in every country, throughout all societies. Gay, straight, young, old, black, white…AIDS doesn’t discriminate.
Please, do your part to end AIDS.
- Educate yourself. There’s no fooling around about this, and you can’t depend something you heard from someone. Learn the facts.
- Protect yourself. For the most part this is a preventable condition. Learn how to avoid it.
- Get tested. The days of stigma are behind us. Knowing if you have AIDS allows you to get treatment, and keeps it from spreading further.
- Get treatment, and stick with it! There are programs that make maintaining your health affordable. And not taking care of yourself is just too high a price to pay.
- Be good to each other. Kindness is catching. Mother Teresa once said, “The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis <or AIDS>, but rather the feeling of being unwanted.”
I hope this day, and tomorrow, and all the days after find all of you and your loved ones in the best of health.
18th NYS Senate District