I remember growing up in the streets of the Bronx, when my best friendís brother died swiftly to a disease that no one knew the name of. He was sharing infested needles at the time with other drug dealers. One day it was known that he had this disease, a couple of months later he was gone.
I remember when two years later a girl who my mother used to babysit, lost her mother to this same strange disease. They took her mother to a hospital in the Bronx, and when she died and the doctors found out that it was this same strange disease, they left her naked with only a blanket covering her in the hallway of the hospital for quite some time.
I remember one of the first girls that I had ever laid with. I remember after we broke up, she had become sick. It soon became known that she had become extremely promiscuous, sleeping with some old acquaintances of mine. She is now dead from the disease.
I remember some of the faces of a gay crew that lived in my project building in the Bronx. I remember the period when one of their first members had died from the disease. I remember how they started walking around the neighborhood carrying a flag on behalf of their fallen member. I then remember how later on, because of their anger towards this disease, some of them started going to the straight clubs and posing as straight men to pick up straight girls to give them the disease. Some of these women were the same women that I was picking up from the clubs at the time.
I remember the first young lady I had ever shacked up with. I remember when it was made known to me later after our break up that she was walking the streets of the Bronx selling her body for money. I remember seeing her on a later date, when it was obvious that she was sick. I remember when my heart dropped to the ground. She meant a lot to me during that time, I would trust that sheís dead today.
I remember when one of my old acquaintances had knowingly with intent had infected one of my best female friends. I remember how I wanted to kill him for what he did. I loved her so much, she was one of my coolest friends. I remember how he immediately went into hiding shortly thereafter. Today she is just one of my friends who is surviving with AIDS.
Today I am a Christian. I have been a Christian since 2001. I believe that through the grace of God, I have been spared from the disease of AIDS. I have been celibate since I became a Christian to the glory of Christ.
I have talked to many women who call the name of the Lord since I became a Christian, unfortunately, they donít share this same testimony.
My heart goes out to these women and men within the church. I believe many of them to be good people who just want to be in a loving relationship which will lead to marriage. However, in lifeís darkest moments, like when a person finds out that he has AIDS, he will turn to God, he will come into the church, and in some cases he will become a member. When some of these men and women find out that because of todayís medicine they will live a lot longer, they may desire to marry and open up the door for relationships.
My heart goes out to the singles in the church. I pray that they will have discretion in regards to the degree that they open up themselves to others, because no cure has been found.
I have seen this disease wipe out many, many more than I have talked about here. I remember many faces that I have lost to this disease, faces that I have loved; faces that I wished had known Jesus. I remember AIDS.