Silence = Death

I found out about AIDS thirty years ago. I was six years old.

Someone had written SILENCE = DEATH on the sidewalks of Soho, most likely using a handcut stencil and spraypaint.

It looked something like this:

SILENCE
=
DEATH

At six, I did not recognize the equal sign, so I thought someone had written “silence death,” which I also did not understand.

My parents explained it to me.

It is astonishing to me that AIDS is still an epidemic, but it is equally astonishing to me that we’ve made such incredible strides forward.

Today I am thinking of everyone living with AIDS, affected by AIDS, and gone because of AIDS.

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