Friday, November 05, 2004

World AIDS Day Memorial

This year, the international theme for World AIDS Day (December 1) is "Women, Girls, HIV and AIDS." Googling "World AIDS Day" will net a large number of web sites, some with current information. Today's mailbox, however, brought a message about an annual memorial event in which all of us can participate:

World AIDS Day is fast approaching. In Los Angeles on the Adelphia cable system we will once again present AIDS Watch. In this 24 hour program, midnight to midnight, we computer generate names of people that have died from HIV/AIDS. Every name, every person is treated equally. Rock Hudson and Freddy Mercury are on screen the same scant three and a half seconds that David Cartwright and Chris Blauman are. The names fade in and fade out. Black screen, white letters. This is very pointedly an awareness project, no funds are solicited. We hope only to touch people and remind them of this plague. In the 24 hours we have space for over 26,000 names.
26,000 memories. But yet in our best year (this will be the ninth time we have done this) only 14,000 names have been submitted. We need more memories, we need more names. In order for the names to reach the roster they must be submitted through the website. That's how the computer works, I didn't write the program. PLEASE visit the website and submit names for the memorial. AND please send this along to everyone you know that might have someone they want remembered. There is no cost involved. Just a moment of your time. Remember your friends.
The interface is simple to use. I added three names, two of them members of my family. Doing so made me think about others who have been lost along the way--people who fought hard for AIDS funding and progressive policy, who didn't die of AIDS but gave their lives to it. I added three names to the World AIDS Day memorial, but I also thought of David and Sharon.

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