On October 5, 2006, my uncle Sean Robert Donovan, died from complications due to AIDS. He was 36 years old. No one knew he was ill prior to July 2006. In that short period of time, our family, especially my mother, was thrust into a situation millions around the world face.
Our first question was "How sick is he?" Immediately, our thoughts turned frantic. What about all the people who may have been exposed to the virus and not known it? I had lived with my uncle for a short while, during which there had been construction on his house and the cafe he owned (where I also worked at the time). What about all of my cousins (most of whom were under 10), grandparents, aunts and uncles... my mom cleaned up his bloody nose just a week ago.
Fortunately, after being tested, we found no one else was infected. It was a miracle. It was also the most terrifying experience of my life. The thought that not only my mother, but my 19 and 13 year old sisters, 8 year old brother could be sick... even now, when I know everyone is okay, the thought paralyzes me.
That is how AIDS spreads. The virus is not limited to addicts and prostitutes. It doesn't live only in far away developing nations. It's here. And we need to do something about it.
For more information on what you can do, please visit: