October 2, 1985 Rock Hudson dies from A.I.D.S.
I remember that day. I remember that year. That was the year I and my 3 roommates went and got tested for AIDS. They were all negative. I, the least promiscuous of them all, was positive. I remember the shock. The fear. The disbelief. By then 5,000 people had succumbed to AIDS. We'd already buried more than a few of our friends. There were rumors everywhere about what caused AIDS. If you found out you were positive you knew you'd just been sentenced to an untimely death. It wasn't going to be pretty either. Many people had Karposi Sarcoma. A disfiguring disease common in old people. Really, really old people. I can't remember if AZT had come out yet but that in it's self was a sentence to death for most people. I think it's like Kemo in a pill. The doctor's didn't know how much you should take or how often. Back in 1990 when I started taking it, my doctor told me to take 8 pills a day. Naturally, I took 4 and was still sick to death. After six weeks of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea I finally quit and just said I'd rather die than be miserable all the time. I meant it. Turned out it was the right thing to do after all. Probably one of the reasons I'm still here. I hope one of the reasons I'm still here is because I've only got one strain of this disease. I've had safe sex for the last 20 years. That was when I was drunk or stoned, didn't matter, I was determined that I'd never give this disease to anyone or get a different kind myself. It seems to have worked. So here I am, 20 years later and still kicking. Maybe not kicking as high as I used to. But still trying.