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swt61

When We Rise

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Ah, When We Rise...Got it now. I'm a little slow tonight. ;)

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Episode 2 brought back so many memories of that terrible period of time. It was scary as all hell! 11 of my friends died of AIDS. It really did seem to be the end of the world.

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I can vividly remember expecting to get sick at any moment, then the incredible guilt when I didn't. My Mom begged me not to visit my friends in the hospital, because we had no idea how you caught it. I know she had it rough too. 

Then Reagan refused to help at all. I still honestly believe that administration was hoping we'd all just die. As flawed as they might have been, my heroes are still Elton and Liz. They seemed to be the only ones who cared enough to do anything.

It was terrible, but it did bring us together in a way that never could have happened otherwise. I never want to forget that.

My two best friends were a couple. I had rented a room from them for at one point. They died within a few months of each other. I miss them all the time.

RIP Kelly and Dana.

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Hugs, Steve. Living in fear is tough, but dying alone like a leper is worse. It speaks spades of you that you cared of your friends, and that you keep the memory of those days alive.

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They were two really great guys, outcast by their families, as so many gays were. My Mom became their surrogate Mom, and we were an alternative family unit. They were beautiful, caring young men. They were 23 and 24 years of age when they were taken. I often wonder who they might be today, if they had lived. Sometimes I feel that I've not done enough with my life to honor them. But I'm still here, slowly plugging away, and I know that they'd tell me that's enough. 

One thing I know for sure, they'd have loved you guys! 

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I was doing some temp work in a small hospital back in the early days and we had one patient on the floor who had AIDS.

He was lucky that there were friends there 24/7 to keep him company. His family loved him but were too afraid to visit so they would call him once a day.

The other nurses were very professional but you could tell that they were also afraid.

The patient was more afraid than anyone though. I can't remember ever seeing someone who was falling into such a deep depression. 

I used to have to collect myself every time I left his room.

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1 hour ago, swt61 said:

They were two really great guys, outcast by their families, as so many gays were. My Mom became their surrogate Mom, and we were an alternative family unit. They were beautiful, caring young men. They were 23 and 24 years of age when they were taken. I often wonder who they might be today, if they had lived. Sometimes I feel that I've not done enough with my life to honor them. But I'm still here, slowly plugging away, and I know that they'd tell me that's enough. 

One thing I know for sure, they'd have loved you guys! 

Not that it means much, but you make me laugh all the time

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It is sad, but I know I'm a better person for going through it. And even though many (Jerry fucking Falwell) tried to use the events to spread their hate, in the long run it backfired. 

Love and compassion won out, and many more stand behind us than ever have before. 

 

I thank you guys for all the hugs! And I'm fine, just taking a walk through the past. We have vets here that have been through much worse, and I can only imagine what they live through.

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Also reliving those memories,..

It was just a few years later, I was at a large teaching hospital (Stanford) and there was a lot of interest in what was going on in one of the rooms on the floor I was working.

When I went to check out what was going on, the room had a number of doctors, journalists and medical students crowded around a jovial patient and his partner.

He was all smiles as photos were being taken while shaking hands with one of the doc's.

Turns out, he was one of the first to receive the AIDS Cocktail and was living proof of it's effectiveness.

He was fat and happy and tears rolled down most of our faces!

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I'll be the first to admit that back then, before we knew it could kill you, I had lots of unprotected sex. Some stereotypes are based in truth, and sex was rampant. I can't ever remember hearing another gay man say "we should slow down". Sex was fun, and there were many days that I had multiple sex partners.

I still am not sure why I was spared, and I've asked myself that question hundreds of times. My best guess is that because I'm 100% top, the risk was less for me. We also know now that some people are immune. My understanding is that the virus attaches to the two docking receptors of the White blood cells, and a small percentage of people have the defect of only having one receptor on their White blood cells, and therefore the virus can't attach. Maybe Antonio can confirm or refute my version of facts, but I've wondered if I may be one of those people. Luck just doesn't seem to be a possibility, because I had lots of unprotected sex! More than many that died. I'll probably never know the answer, but it does haunt me at times.

It's not that I'm not grateful, I am. But I'd also like to know why.

Episode 3 is on tonight, and it'll be sad, so I'll try to keep from posting afterward. Love you guys!

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Just watched the 4th and final episode. It ended on a high note, with the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage. Very well done, and an amazing cast.

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On 3/3/2017 at 2:22 AM, swt61 said:

I'll be the first to admit that back then, before we knew it could kill you, I had lots of unprotected sex. Some stereotypes are based in truth, and sex was rampant. I can't ever remember hearing another gay man say "we should slow down". Sex was fun, and there were many days that I had multiple sex partners.

I still am not sure why I was spared, and I've asked myself that question hundreds of times. My best guess is that because I'm 100% top, the risk was less for me. We also know now that some people are immune. My understanding is that the virus attaches to the two docking receptors of the White blood cells, and a small percentage of people have the defect of only having one receptor on their White blood cells, and therefore the virus can't attach. Maybe Antonio can confirm or refute my version of facts, but I've wondered if I may be one of those people. Luck just doesn't seem to be a possibility, because I had lots of unprotected sex! More than many that died. I'll probably never know the answer, but it does haunt me at times.

It's not that I'm not grateful, I am. But I'd also like to know why.

Episode 3 is on tonight, and it'll be sad, so I'll try to keep from posting afterward. Love you guys!

I had to search for it, since I didn't recall the specifics of the mechanism. The Wikipedia article seems well documented and more or less confirms your statement. Maybe is not as much a matter of the number of receptors as about their shape and affinity for the virus. I think your 100% top preference has been a determining factor for you weren't exposing potential skin or mucous wounds to the fluids carrying the viruses from your partner. It's possible you can get a blood test to know if you are a carrier of the  CCR5-Δ32 mutation on your T-cells. These tests are much cheaper now.

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