On Oct. 2, 1995, the love of my life died of complications due to AIDS. Jim lived his life as a man with hemophilia, a genetic bleeding disorder. He became infected with the human immunodeficiency virus in the early '80s as a result of infusing with contaminated blood product. This clotting product was used to assist Jim in living a more normal life, with the hope of increased longevity.
I'd like to enlighten the gentlemen from Orem - HIV is a human virus. Women, children and men of varied racial, socioeconomic and religious backgrounds have lived and died of AIDS. HIV is spread via high-risk behavior, which is not exclusive to male homosexual sex. Sadly, as these false stereotypes are adhered to, many HIV-positive people live in fear of sharing themselves wholly. Individuals within our community, our neighbors, are denied a life of dignity and truth as these prejudices are perpetuated.They become separate, disallowed greater love and compassion because of this extremist notion. As a community, we are denied the potential contribution of their life experience.
When we extrapolate only a part of the AIDS picture and grossly distort it, a great portion remains hidden from view. My husband fought for light, to be seen as part of the entire vision. He was a beautiful man. He contributed selflessly to the love of this world. He served his community without reservation. He embraced gay men and women, fellow hemophiliacs, and children. Through his efforts he discovered the transcending power of disease; he learned the greatest lesson of all: unconditional love.
Salt Lake City