By Susan Hunter, Alan Cumming, Donald Trump
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Extra info for AIDS in America
I never even thought of acting on it. In the rural town where I lived, there were no openly gay people or gay people my age. My father and my family were always very heterosexual, and you just never talked about anything gay. I always wondered why I felt differently when I was growing up. But I had pursued a heterosexual lifestyle until I had the opportunity to get away from the inﬂuences that prevented me from becoming who I was. “When I started to come out, I’d been living in New Jersey for a while.
I always ﬁgured someone with AIDS was going to be homely looking, the hunchback with stuff all over your face, hair falling out, sick, sunken in, bloodshot eyes. That’s how I always ﬁgured it, and that’s how a lot of people out here look at it. ’” Her biological father, Gordon Grant, says, “One of the most profound things I saw ever since I’ve known PJ—that’s my pet name for Paige—was on her twenty-third birthday. I went up to spend the day with her, and she did a speech before a high school. When she took the stage, everyone thought she was going to introduce this withered away, crack-ridden girl that was HIV positive.
Older people are also not getting tested for HIV. Twice as many young people as older adults have had a test. In addition, people over ﬁfty have more illnesses, ailments, and symptoms of aging that mask HIV symptoms. AIDS-related dementia can be attributed to Alzheimer’s; fatigue and weight loss can be dismissed as part of the “normal” aging process. HIV prevention education campaigns never show older faces, making adults over ﬁfty “an invisible at-risk population” for AIDS, says the CDC. At least one-quarter of HIV-positive Americans of any age do not know that they carry the disease, increasing the possibility for transmitting it.
AIDS in America by Susan Hunter, Alan Cumming, Donald Trump