I volunteered at The Project of Primary Health Care’s 15th Annual AIDS Walk today. If you’ve been with me since the beginning, you know about my promise to Freddie Mercury, if I survived my own HIV scare. I am so thankful for my health. I am doing what I can to give back.
The Project raised over $16,500 today, to help the 700 or so Central Iowans living with the disease. The volunteers along the Walk/Run route were given signs to hold when directing traffic. My sign had an alarming statistic: 1 in 6 Iowans with HIV are undiagnosed.
Iowa repealed the law that would make HIV transmission a felony. There is no reason not to get tested. It’s quick and easy. In most cases, you can get your results back in 15 minutes. Much better than the two or three days I had to wait.
Call me romantic (well, I do write romance), but I think one of the sweetest things I’ve ever read and ever considered writing is a “Let’s get tested together” plot line. It shows that you have nothing to hide. If it comes back positive, you’ve at least got a friend there to go through it with you. Maybe no longer boyfriend material, but a friend. (Because how the hell can you dump someone when he’s just gotten the worst news of his life? Seriously. Douche move.)
I’m going to keep volunteering at events like this until no one even knows who Freddie Mercury is. The number of people who know Queen but don’t know Freddie’s legacy is already alarming to me, but I will continue to educate people on music, and loss. I’m keeping my promise.
This is the hardest damn video to watch, but I’m going to put it here, anyway. HIV/AIDS is no longer the death sentence it once was, but we should never forget.