Jeff Levy, LCSW
Mental Health, Relationships, Trauma, Identity
1/6/2019 0 Comments
For Those Who Come After
Jeff Levy, LCSW
(originally posted on Branching Out: The Live Oak Blog, February 2014)
When I returned to Chicago in the late 1980’s, I remember reading the obituaries in Gay Chicago Magazine and related publications. Every week there were longer lists of gay men who had died. It was the first section of the paper I turned to each week, wondering who of us would be listed and, if there were friends I hadn’t talked to in a long time, who had died before I even knew they were sick. Going out socially also meant seeing people who were sick. We all just knew. That’s how it was.
Since then, much has changed in the world of HIV. Many have written about advances in HIV treatment and prevention. People who had previously prepared to die are miraculously living today, thanks to newer combinations of medication and the medical training of today’s HIV/infectious disease specialists. And still, there are those living with HIV whose health improved or maintained for a period of time, but are now dealing with long term effects of HIV and a compromised immune system. For many of us not alive in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, there is no frame of reference or context for this.
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