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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 2, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Awareness of HIV and AIDS in Seattle

A domestic issue

"1,000 Crosses," a symbol of the number of people who will die of AIDS every four hours, mainly in Africa, is set up on the Seattle Pacific University campus for World AIDS Day in 2012. [Alan Berner, The Seattle Times.]

“1,000 Crosses,” a symbol of the number of people who will die of AIDS every four hours, on the Seattle Pacific University campus for World AIDS Day in 2012. [Alan Berner, The Seattle Times.]

Seattle, we’re a proactive city, or so we’d like to think. We’re a supportive and accepting city, or so I thought. We’re educated, we raise awareness, and we take care of business to keep our community safe and healthy … right?

We have a problem. It’s a very discriminatory problem; it has a specific body of people who are disproportionally affected. Seattle has a closeted epidemic among its young gay population.

Seattle is home to more than 5,500 people living with HIV or AIDS. Almost 90 percent of those affected are men. Of those men, men having sex with men account for nearly 70 percent of the incidence.

Our local youth are becoming infected. AIDS isn’t foreign. It’s domestic. It’s in Seattle. And our children will be infected, because we like to think that we’re bigger than it. We aren’t.

Nina Cook, Seattle

Comments | More in Health care, Seattle | Topics: AIDS, awareness, domestic

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