The early 1990s has potentially many associations — the break-up of the Soviet Union, the first Gulf War, the World Trade Center and Oklahoma City bombings, The Lion King, Forest Gump, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, and the cancellation of the baseball season, to name a few.
I was reminded of this during the International AIDS Conference this week in Washington, as panels of the AIDS Quilt are on display both in the conference center and elsewhere around the city.
It seems like in every large display — which usually has 10 or so individual memorial quilts, each 3 X 6 feet — most of the deaths being acknowledged occurred in that 1990-1995 period. And the 1994 and 1995 deaths strike me as perhaps the most poignant, because these young men and women just missed getting lifesaving treatment.
And though I didn’t know them personally, I did know Larry, and Greg, and Bryana, and Tony, and Bob, and George, and Tonya, and wish they could have lived just a bit longer. Then they’d have the chance to be saved by ritonavir, indinavir, nevirapine, etc., which were just a few short months away from being approved.