The Cost of Staying Alive

On this World AIDS Day, let’s remember the many lives lost to this pandemic, for sure, and let’s celebrate and encourage survivors as we all recommit ourselves to educate the next generations, and let’s def continue to demand more enlightened and equitable support for HIV/AIDS patients around the planet. Fuck yeah, let us do all o’ that (and more), but can we also talk about the fact that, in America, in 2019, it can cost someone $4,857.28 a month to purchase but two life-preserving medications to manage one’s HIV?

Almost $5,000 every month (without insurance) for two medications. It’s un-friggin’-fathomable. Surprise, surprise: It only goes up from there, don’t you know, don’t you know. HIV ain’t cheap. What if you don’t have insurance? And what if you need more than two meds? This is a chronic condition, and once you’re on board the meds train, you can’t simply hop off.

That said, what if you live in a city or a country in which those medications aren’t readily available? What then?

The cost of staying alive when you’re HIV-positive is dangerously high. Plus, there’s still stigma, but, at least, fighting prejudice is fairly inexpensive. In fact, being a decent, caring friend to anyone living with the uncertainties HIV brings to one’s life is free. It’s a lifeline. It’s hope.

Showing our love for our brothers and sisters. Let us start there today, again.

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