Sunday, August 09, 2009
Now, is the Season of Concern
Alexandra credits programs supported by organizations such as Season of Concern for helping her way back in the day when there wasn't a lot of help. Back when being HIV positive was a death sentence. Back when people (including their churches and families) were shunning, isolating, denying care and compassion to anyone suspected of being HIV positive.
Now hopefully most people have learned better. HIV/AIDS is not automatically a death sentence and there has been much progress for treatment. But, the pendulum has swung so far the other way that many now think it's no big deal to be HIV positive or to have AIDS. That it's curable or easily treatable and managed. There is no cure and "easy" is not in the HIV/AIDS equation. The virus is still here and it does not discriminate. It mutates and challenges the researchers and demands we remain vigilant and informed. The epidemic is still here too.
The epidemic is surging especially in the black community for many complex and simple reasons. Reasons stemming from lack of medical care to religious stigmas attached to AIDS. Yes, and the epidemic now includes Senior citizens, college students, young teens, and women in the rising number of new HIV/AIDS infected people.
In 1988 Chicago's theater community formed Season of Concern (SOC) to support programs that provide care to Chicago and Mid-Western community members experiencing the effects of catastrophic illness. SOC supported programs provide direct care such as personal finacial support, housing, meals, and medication and more.
SOC fundraising also supports programs such as HealthWorks Theater Chicago that educates children and teens with age appropriate productions and info. Sadly SOC is still needed now as it was in the 1980's. Season of Concern needs to remain strong and vital. Although Season Of Concern's focus is on AIDS and HIV-related illness, they are there for everyone facing illness, disease, or injury of any kind.
When you go to the theater and you see Season of Concern donation cans or the performers request donations, you'll know what's up. Please give.