Sunday, December 01, 2013

World AIDS Day

Many scientific advances have been made in HIV/AIDS treatment.  There are laws to protect people living with HIV/AIDS, and we understand so much more about the condition. But despite this, there are still individuals who do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many living with the disease. World AIDS Day is important as it reminds the public and government that HIV/AIDS has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.

The following are my thoughts from a few years ago.  Much hasn’t changed and my views remain the same.  There is so much more we can do as individuals, but just think about what we can accomplish – together, as a people united for the good of all humanity.  Do your part to make a difference.  Share the truth in order to find your real happiness.  Get tested! – paerki

Today is World AIDS day. I don’t hear too much talk about it and feel it has become a back burner issue. I base this on articles, statistics, stories from friends and conversations from everyday people, especially when I am on the bus. This is further compounded by observations of chat room and other Internet banter, which exploits and encourages sexual promiscuity.

I am far from being a prude and have no problem with people getting their groove on, doing the late night booty call or cruising their next sexual conquest. However, I do have concerns when individuals are not willing to use protection. Many continue to bareback, forgo using dental dams and condoms.

I know of individuals infected with HIV/AIDS who continue their selfish act of sleeping around, and all in the name of a quick fix. I believe some of these people are consumed with sexual addiction; others are simply unapologetically obscene.

So many are interested in having their cake and eating it too. More and more people are having sex on the side without getting the OK from their spouse/partner (as if they would ever say, yes). They want stability and sexcapades, but that doesn’t always work.

Some of my friends flaunt the approval of their spouse/partner for allowing them to stick their hands in a different cookie jar. They are eager to tell people how wonderful their relationship is; however, their body language speaks differently.

What is wrong with monogamy? It works, but only if you are willing to do your part.

I can understand partnerships growing tired, old and sour, and it’s because we’re not working hard enough. Our interconnections are always a work in progress. I think part of the problem is people take their significant other for granted. We make excuses, tell lies and manipulate each other. These are not relationships and definitely not ones of equality!

We must always attempt to look our best, be engaging, willing to shake it up a bit (and no, I’m not talking threesomes), explore new and creative options for keeping the love alive and most importantly, set time aside to nurture each other in the best of ways. When you take these simple measures, you won’t want to go anywhere else if it’s that good at home.

HIV/AIDS and other STDS are alive and well, and lurking everywhere. Drug addiction (both recreational use that lowers inhibitions and those hard core addicts who share needles) is still a grave concern. We need to keep ourselves safe and value the temple, which is our body. We must play an active role in humanity, by choosing a higher standard of morals, responsibility, as well as imploring advocacy.

We need to stop dismissing the real need for sex education in schools and the distribution of condoms (with a counselors guidance of course, and not from someone who is there to judge). Religious zealots need to stop being so hypocritical, pompous and unrealistic about sex. Religion helps, but it doesn’t save the day and there is much research to the contrary. Needle exchange programs must be utilized, enhanced and reworked when necessary.

Prudes of the world, stop living in a bubble. Everyone needs to be on board with a new approach, and just saying, STOP or NO is not the answer; it’s a hindrance, permission and at times a dare.

I wish more parents were involved in helping their children with the challenging changes puberty brings. It can be a scary, mixed up time, especially when those hormones kick in. I wish I had parents who were understanding and not so blind and scared. (This is not a judgment or a reference of fault, but a lack of understanding.)

I find some of the biggest offenders breaching moral code are those with a Bible in tow and a whole lot of judging. You need to stop lashing out because of your mistakes from the past. You can’t make up for it. Catchy slogans will not save your child, but words of understanding, love, respect and acceptance will help aid in their safety. No one is immune from contracting HIV/AIDS. Preaching abstinence is a push in the wrong direction. Education is key for better choices and stronger outcomes. World AIDS Day… What does it mean to you, today and every day?

Related Post:  Modified Monogamy











What would life be like without memories? It’s fair to say, there would be no life at all. Memory is our communication, reason, coherence, our action and more importantly, our feeling. Memories create our path in life, developing our psychology and leading us emotionally.

One of the best ways to create and store memories is with video. These simple effortless little snippets of time create diaries and become perpetual time capsules, which justify our walk on earth, telling all with great enthusiasm… I was here! I mattered! I lived! Please, don’t forget me.

Share your views, thoughts and opinions in the written word. Snap photographs so that your eyes can travel back in time, remembering the happy and sad moments that made you the person you were, are and became in life. But, whenever possible, capture video to enhance the memories you leave behind, so that others may pass the essence of your life on to future generations.

Homeland

Preserve Your Happiness (Aug 13, 2013): This is for you, because you need to hear these words again. Live life happy. Find your joy. Now more than ever, it’s time for people to reconnect with their inner self. Find your happy place, rejuvenating the total you – mind, body, soul and spirit. It’s a mandate... Continue Reading

Baltimore City (Maryland)

World AIDS Day (Dec 1, 2013): Many scientific advances have been made in HIV/AIDS treatment. There are laws to protect people living with HIV/AIDS, and we understand so much more about the condition. But despite this, there are still individuals who do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others, and... Continue Reading

Evergreen Museum & Library

Thank You For So Much Beauty (Mar 15, 2010): Do you realize how much beauty you bring to the world? Do you know how awesome you are? Really?! Do you?! I am in awe of your work. I love your use of rich and vibrant colors, some even electric. The faces are what really capture my attention; they are delicate... Continue Reading

Baltimore Book Festival

A Culture Of Hate (Jan 9, 2011): Weekends fly by so quickly, or so it appears. However, this particular weekend seemed unusually long, and I think it had something to do with the gruesome events that took place on Saturday in Tucson, Arizona. I am shocked by the horror that unfolded, a young man throwing his entire... Continue Reading

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H.P. Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens

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I love photographs! They have this amazing ability to tell stories of fun places, special moments, memorable events, and exciting places. They give us reason to pause and remember friends, family, coworkers and so many others. One photograph can conjure up a flood of memories taking us on a journey. They help us remember the past, enjoy the present and ponder the future.

On a cold and rainy day I love sitting in my living room with a roaring fire, a glass of wine, classical music playing in the background and my many photographs scattered about me. I love sifting through what I call my special collection, which refers to my favorites. They remind me of the saddest and happiest moments of my life. They remind me of challenges and overcoming.

My large collection of images are a testament to a life lived. Life happens all around us so it’s important to collect special memories, and what better way than with a photograph.

Edith Ann

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Peabody Institute

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Browns Orchards

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Patterson Park

Selfie (Jan 19, 2014): I was asked the following question by one of my Facebook friends… "I have to ask you this Paul, do you have a personal photographer who is with you constantly?" This question is worthy of a blog post, so here it goes. Enjoy! Good question, and one I am asked often enough and don't mind answering... Continue Reading

Charles Village Festival

Yielding To Signs (Mar 28, 2011): Sunday was the perfect day to be outdoors. The sky was a bright baby blue and absolutely stunning to look at, especially when it became the backdrop for seagulls and blackbirds, effortlessly soaring and plummeting in between wind gusts. It was magical, a hypnotic visual sensation... Continue Reading
There are many people in the world affected by disease. I never thought I would be one of the many. However, at any given time life can change. Mine did! There were many twists and turns, but I made it through and you can too. I am a Celiac on the move living life one meal at a time. Learn more about my life as a Celiac. Celiac Disease is a lifelong, digestive disorder affecting children and adults. In short, I have an allergy to gluten, and the treatment is a lifelong scrupulous avoidance of it.

No matter what, know this: You are never alone. There are people out there who’ve struggled, endured, made it through and are sharing their message of survival. No, they might not be at your side, but their spirit is out there in words, attempting to help others on their journey. Let’s all unite by sharing our individual stories, remedies for healthy living, food and recipes to keep us strong, and let’s find the laughter too because it can be some of the best medicine. Always remember, there is power in numbers. Check me out: A Celiac On The Move

Stony Run Trail

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Holi

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Alpaca / Lama Farm

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BMA (Sculpture Garden)

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Jones Falls Trail

City Of The Silent (Mar 18, 2010): Underground in permanent stasis they speak no more. Many have departed this life, leaving behind a legacy for all to enjoy, cherish, honor and, with a little luck and ingenuity, replicate. For me, this quiet region of slumber still has a pulse, and you can feel it when you walk these... Continue Reading

Country Drive

A Happy Life Begins At Home (Apr 19, 2010): My home is very important to me. My life between these four walls of privacy I value like no other. It’s immeasurable, and absolutely priceless. It’s an oasis with a cocoon-like feeling, shielding me from the outside manipulative forces of violence and pollution. It allows... Continue Reading
"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

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