US: Michael Friedman’s Tragic Death is an Opportunity to Set Things Straight

To all those living with HIV in their teens, twenties, thirties, and forties: the recent news about Michael Friedman dying "due to complications of HIV/AIDS," as announced by The Public Theater, should not raise unwarranted fears for you personally.

Friedman was a beloved member of New York's theater community and was only 41 when he died. The multiple threads on social media about his death are already seeing false or outdated medical information posted in comments, etc.

"AIDS is not over" is a common response. It is a valid call to action, but it's often being said without much-needed context and is feeding some false comments about today's medical realities for those living with HIV.

Here's the bottom line: If you are taking your meds each day, especially the newer meds (there are now over 30 antiretrovirals on the market, and 48 more in the pipeline), AIDS will not suddenly foil your efforts and strike you down.

The statistics now are clear. You will most likely live a near normal lifespan. You might have to deal with extra health-related burdens in your later years, but they will be far fewer than those of us who lived through the plague years with periods of untreated HIV and the toxic early meds.

So yes, AIDS is not over. But AIDS in New York in 2017 is NOT AIDS in New York in 1995 (just before the drug cocktails were approved). Please don't read today's threads about Friedman's death to think your own prospects are worse than you thought. They are not. Read more via Plus