Living with AIDS in America in the early part of the 21st century is like starring in your very own monster movie.
You get to play the sick and depraved villain, while everyone else is so afraid of you, they ignore you on the Internet and avoid you at all costs in real life.
The innocent victims in your monster movie are the townfolk who happen to be the gay males living in your village. These men are terrified of you. They’ve heard rumors about your kind. They’ve been warned by their elders about people like you.
The elders didn’t give them much advice, just: stay away from those ghastly beasts, don’t have sex with them, and don’t try to understand them or figure out how they got that way. AIDS monsters are just plain wrong. And bad. Stay away from the AIDS monster, kids! Make sure you stay clean!
And the townfolk got the message. They vowed to stay away from HIV-Poz People. They put up warning signs, like CLEAN and DISEASE-FREE ONLY, which must mean that you, the AIDS monster, are dirty and disease-ridden.
But you don’t feel dirty and disease-ridden. You, the monster of your own movie, feel misunderstood. You want to befriend the townfolk, maybe even find true love with one of them. You want to tell the village that it’s possible to touch an AIDS monster and AIDS won’t rub off. You want to show the world how people with HIV/AIDS can have safe sex with people without HIV/AIDS and the clean and disease-free can walk away … well, still clean and disease-free.
You want to explain to the townfolk that anyone can become an AIDS monster, if anyone has unsafe sex, even with so-called neg people. You want to explain that everyone can avoid becoming an AIDS monster if everyone has safer sex with both poz and neg people.
But the townfolk, the gay males in the village, they turn a deaf ear and blind eye to the AIDS monster. They prefer ignorance. They’d rather reserve their compassion for others. Indeed, the townfolk would rather AIDS monsters were a thing of the past.
But you are an AIDS monster living in the present, and there are countless more monsters just like you living in America. And each dirty and disease-ridden soul belonging to the Poz People is starring in his or her own monster movie in the minds of the Neg People. Why else would so many Neg People be so afraid of touching those who aren’t CLEAN and DISEASE-FREE? UB2.
Find out more, if you dare, in the AIDS Monster Movie Marathon, a blog story told backwards in a car driving forward. Fun for the whole family, featuring the exclusive Interview with the AIDS Monster!