Thank you TS Yogis for raising over $300 for Whitman-Walker, our karma charity of the month. There is still time to donate by clicking here. There is also still time to join the TS team for the Walk to End HIV on October 25th. This is part of why I chose the cause and why it has been important to me.
HIV is still at epidemic rates here in DC and most cities in the U.S. While most people now have access to care and medications, this does not make it a non-issue. Caring for these individuals takes time, money, and effort. Also, HIV continues to rise in new younger groups, like teenagers and young gay men. Knowing what we know about prevention and the risks of the virus, this is unnecessary. Prevention is about getting the message out there and getting people to believe that this is still a major issue. Please consider donating today.
Yesterday, I saw one of my early clients from Whitman-Walker. He looked happy and healthy and gave me a big hug. I remember the same year that I worked with him I met with about 2,000 other people who were sick with the virus. If they weren’t sick with the virus, then they were sick from the medications, addiction, or mental illness. It was quite a year.
In that year, I counseled so many people on how to find resources, how to cope, how to grieve their friends’ dying, or how to cope with the anticipation of their own mortality. I remember counseling so many family members on how to deal with the many struggles. I remember getting burned out for the first time, but also determined to do things right.
In that year I worked with this client. He was blind, he was paralyzed, he couldn’t eat, he had almost no T-cells, he had “full-blown” AIDS, as people once said. He was like many others who I worked with. With time he started taking medication, getting regular care, and slowly building his strength back. This process took a lot of resources which this client did not possess himself, but were offered through Whitman-Walker. He used his strength, faith, determination, and our support to get back to health. If you saw him yesterday, you would have no clue any of this had happened. He was strong, healthy, and still receiving services at Whitman-Walker. Yesterday he told me that he was still upset with me for going back to grad school. I reflected how that was almost 10 years ago. We both looked shocked by how much time had passed and how much life had been lived. Your donation will help the ongoing work of bringing people back to health and maintaining their wellness going forward.