The threat of HIV to those with hemophilia was made vividly clear in September 1987. On August 21, 1987, two weeks before my son with hemophilia was born, the Ray brothers had been fire-bombed from their trailer park home in Arcadia, Florida–a warning to the family to leave. It made headlines nationwide and was considered a landmark act in the history of HIV in the US. The story was of shocking interest to everyone, even those of us who didn’t know hemophilia was about to enter our lives.
World AIDS Day remembers those who died, and a ceremony was held at the National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco. Both HFA and NHF were honored to have been invited to participate.
World AIDS Day also serves to remind us that the work is not yet done. I was reading Time magazine on a plane ride yesterday, and was shocked at the statistics I read.
Note: The spread of HIV in the US was originally blamed on a gay French Canadian flight attendant, Gaetan Dugas, but new analysis of stored blood samples have exonerated him of this. And the Band Played On opens with Dugas’s story and alleged link as Patient Zero.