Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. Parliament Hill Ottawa. A Wordpress Production

World AIDS Day

Monday December 1st … W.A.D. – Blessings and Music


Sister Cristina Scuccia – suor Cristina is an Italian Ursuline nun who won the 2014 season of The Voice Italy. I happened across Sister Cristina on You Tube. Since we don’t get international television here, one has to resort to online platforms to enjoy something a little different.

So, I had written down the release date of her album and today I went looking for it on several sites and finally found it on I Tunes. I think everybody has an I Tunes account by now.

And I had some I Tunes money in the bank … win …

Track List:

  1. Try – Pink cover
  2. Fallin Free
  3. Like a Virgin – Madonna cover
  4. Somewhere only we know – Keane cover
  5. Blessed be your name
  6. Fix you – Cold Play cover
  7. No One – Alicia Keys cover
  8. I surrender – Hillsong Live
  9. True Colors – Cindi Lauper cover
  10. Price Tag – Jessie J cover
  11. Perto, Longe Ou Depois
  12. L’Amore Vincera

You probably have never heard of Sister Cristina. But it is worth the price. Her spin on this track list is impressive. You can see her videos on You Tube and Like a Virgin on Vimeo.

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world-aids-dayToday we mark World AIDS Day again… twenty one years later, sadly, there still is no cure, and people are still contracting HIV in high numbers all over North America and even worse in Africa.

We don’t usually think of AIDS like we used to.

People are not dying in numbers that are alarming. Here at least.

But that is a different story a world away!

But, as they say, N.I.M.B.Y.

Meanwhile in Africa, disease is a daily struggle. So many people. So much sickness. And the world, as a whole has done little to stop it. AIDS is not the disease du jour any longer. Ebola is at the top of that little list of killers.

But we should not ignore or dismiss the suffering of an entire nation because they are over there and we are over here. I would not be the first to say, that if the world spent as much money on sickness and cures for diseases that they do on national and international defense and war, we probably could make a dent on the list of the dying world wide from sickness.

The world does spend a pretty penny on illness and sickness, in the form of medications. The pharmaceutical industry makes money hand over fist. They would rather you be forced to take their pills for ever, making them hundreds of billions of dollars a year, rather than contribute to curing the sickness that we have to take the pills for …

Isn’t it pure insanity ???

A long time ago, I heard a doctor say that the world would never cure AIDS until it found a cure for cancer. Twenty one years later, I am still taking pills to maintain my quality of life, cancer is still far from being cured across the board, and the pharmaceutical companies are making millions on our backs.

Today my HIV doctor is not worried about me dying from AIDS. He doesn’t worry so much that he cut my doctor visits from four a year to two a year. Pills, Pills, and more pills. He is more concerned with my aging problems, like my diabetes, and my heart, since I have a heredity bulls eye on my back.

But I am alive today because of Big Pharma. So I guess that that is a blessing, right?

World AIDS Day 2011 …

It has been 17 years and 5 months since my diagnosis of AIDS on July 8th, 1994 and what can we say about AIDS in 2011???

I think we can talk about “The Ministry of Pleasure” He says it all …

We are fast approaching December 1, 2011 when we commemorate yet another year of World AIDS Day. It’s now 30 years, June 5, 1981, since the first AIDS case was published by the Centre for Disease Control. It became known as Gay-related immune deficiency (GRID). Today, this disease knows no boundaries and can affect and/or infect anyone. At the end of 2010, it’s estimated that 34 million people globally living with HIV, there were 2.7 million new HIV infections, and 1.8 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses.

UN AIDS report that “the overall growth of the global aids epidemic appears to have stabilized. The annual number of new HIV infections has been steadily declining since the late 1990s and there are fewer aids-related deaths due to the significant scale up of antiretroviral therapy over the past few years. Although the number of new infections has been falling, levels of new infections overall are still high, and with significant reductions in mortality the number of people living with HIV worldwide has increased.

December starts with a day to remember all those who have gone before us. All those courageous and loving people that I have known in my lifetime. So much has happened in the care of people with AIDS. In Canada we have comprehensive medical care and the best drugs on the market come through our clinic. And when they do we test them for the rest of the world to make sure they work correctly.

I have come so far in my life, I have achieved many things in this life that, if you had told me that I would be where I am today, with the life I have today, I wouldn’t have believed you. But here we are and I am still alive.

Thanks to my doctors and the men and women who work at the Montreal General Hospital for their love and care. It goes without saying that we always have front line access to our doctors at any time of the day or night if need be. Which is more than I can say for what life was like in the United States.

But all to say that I am grateful for all of you who come to read. Take a moment to tell those people in your life that you love them and appreciate them as well. A little love goes a long way …

So share the love.

World Aids Day …

This is supposed to get your attention. And it is supposed to call  you to action. The celebrities want you to fork over cash on Wednesday for charities raising the flag over AIDS in Africa and worldwide.

It is a world shame that drug companies have not done enough to bring life giving medications to many places in the world that need them.It is a shame that in the year 2010, people are still dying from AIDS, when we know so much and the first world has so much to be thankful for when it comes to AIDS research and drug availability.

But we have failed the 3rd world. Millions of people in Africa suffer because of greed and drug monopolies. Drug companies have not done what they should do to bring affordable medication to millions of people who need them. We have the means and the money to do this. And yet governments around the world do nothing or very little.

Even in the first world – Here in North America, drug companies have failed many who live with HIV not making drugs more available to us. Ryan White funds need to be approved – ADAP programs need to be funded. More money must go the states for care of people with HIV. Drug companies must bring down costs for life saving medications. And we must bring to the market any and all generic forms of drugs to the market.

In the U.S. is costs $1000.00 of dollars a month to medicate someone with HIV. Here in Canada it is much cheaper for us to get medications each month. But so many go without and WHY?

What is it going to take to get these life saving drugs to people that cannot afford them? Celebrities who talk about going off social media to bring your attention to this matter are missing the mark. All these rich celebrities need to dump some of their own wealth into the charities they are asking you to donate to. If the top 2% of the worlds wealthiest people dumped something into the pot of wealth we could bring these much needed drugs to parts of the world that still don’t have them.

AIDS is a global crisis still today. If we don’t do something now, millions more will die unmentionable deaths because we did nothing. The saving of lives trumps many of today’s drama and gossip.

We Remember all those who have gone before us. I remember all the friends who have died over the last two decades. Life goes on for many of us, because of dedicated doctors and clinic workers. I am alive because of wonder drugs available to me.

16 years and counting … Remember my friends, remember your friends. Remember those of us who are still here living with HIV.

Take time today to remember us, remember them.


So close and yet so far … Vs. 2

Monday has come and almost gone. I am finished with two of three projects that are due tomorrow in class. I did well on my midterm exams and I am hoping I fare just as well on my final paper and book review. I have to maintain a grade point average to stay above board as a graduate student, and I am a little bit nervous.

Hubby got home from class tonight and edited my paper for me so it is all polished and ready to go tomorrow. That’s one perk of having a husband who is an English Lit major.

I am working on the reading for my second paper that is due on the 9th. I had to put together lesson plans for Wednesday night’s class – I am presenting on the topic of Christology of the Later Fathers. I have a two page handout that I printed up earlier tonight – that is 30% of our grade.


World AIDS Day … December 1st

You could say that at that time in my life (I was 25 years old) I was still wandering all over the place  I met the boy who would infect me with AIDS and had not told me he was sick. I would not find that little nugget of information out until he killed himself. As we are approaching December 1st – It is World AIDS Day. And we must take some time to remember those who have gone before us and all of us who still live on today.

It has been sixteen years since the day doctors told me that I was gonna die, and I lived … There must be a reason that I am still here. And It is time to take stock again and try to pin point just why the hell I am still here. Is there something that I am supposed to do next? The lessons are still coming, so I haven’t learned them all yet.

We remember, lest we never forget …

Callie Fodor
Pedro Zamora
Ryan White
Vito Russo
Bobbi Campbell
Jorge Rodriguez
China Kelly
Dana Manchester
Jimmie Johnson

And so many more …