"People who test positive have trouble getting insurance, jobs, it's terrible." That is what Blanche said to Rose on the Golden Girls when Rose had to go in for an HIV test. The episode aired around 1991. I knew that Rent made a big deal out of the AIDS crisis and by that, I mean that it splattered the AIDS culture on the public radar. But here I am, innocently watching these four older women talk about sex and I was hit by this real life issue. I've noticed that the double G puts social issues into many of its episodes, but this one was more real to me for some reason.
When I lived in New York, I was exposed to AIDS in a way that I had never been exposed to it before. Growing up in Texas, the extent of my knowledge of AIDS was limited to Magic Johnson and with that, came the shame-based knowledge that it was his whoring around that got him in that spot. That is all I knew. Now, I've met people who have AIDS, I know people with AIDS, and while some of them owe their present to their whorish pasts, some got it honestly. (Honest meaning transfusion or the lack of disclosure with a boyfriend or girlfriend) As I lived up there, my heart became heavier and heavier for people who deal with this issue. In the end, it doesn't really matter how you get it, it just matters how you deal with it.
I remember when I got back to Texas for school, I watched Angels in America and I was just captivated by the story. Again, a Hollywood version of it, but it was as real as it could have been. I've followed all of the latest updates on treatment and how they've cured it in rats, how crocodile blood carried immunities that kill the virus, and how a bone marrow transplant in a person rid him of the disease.
I know that I usually am making some sort of smart-ass comment related to television or someone wearing a stupid outfit, but for now, I just wanted to throw this out there. As much as television is great for entertainment, tonight, it has given me reason to pause and reflect.