I'm in DC, a company town and politics is the company's business. With the spiraling rates of HIV/AIDS infection, one really needs to be concerned about one's bedfellow.
Jose Antonio Vargas' piece in the Washington Post is yet another wake-up call:
If past is prologue, the city won't get a handle on its AIDS problem. That means continuing illness, heartbreak and tragedy for many of the real people behind the numbers, people like Josh Murray.
And the numbers are staggering. About 12,500 District residents have HIV or AIDS. Of the nearly 3,300 new HIV cases reported between 2001 and 2006, 37 percent were spread through heterosexual sex, 25 percent through homosexual sex. More than 80 percent of those new cases were among African Americans: men, women, teenagers. And perhaps the most worrisome figure of all -- because, with enough education, it's easily preventable -- is the number of pediatric cases: 56 children born with either HIV or AIDS in the past five years.
I lived in DC for many years. Back in the day, my concern was the bit players who confirmed that "politics is Hollywood for ugly people."
The story of bureaucratic incompetence and infighting that Jose tells is not a pretty picture. Today, you must know your status.
For the location of a testing site near you, click here.