December 1, 2012, marks World AIDS day. The Utah Museum of Fine Arts joins with arts organizations around the world to participate in A Day With(Out) Art by shrouding a significant work in our collection.
This year’s work will be Female Torso V & A by Auguste Rodin.
I came of age during a time when it felt like AIDS was lurking everywhere, and was for so many of us an obsessive playground curiosity (how does one get it? No, really? And what was up with Magic Johnson anyway?) Rumors of French Kissers later testing positive abounded, striking terror into our prepubescent hearts. Boys and girls looked at each other askance, imagining our touchless futures.
But much later, while teaching at a university, I came to realize this has not remained true for subsequent generations. The treatability and preventability of AIDS (provided you have access to appropriate education and care, of course) seems to have diminished the specter for many demographics in this nation. But AIDS is still very real. According to AIDS.gov, every 9.5 minutes someone in the USA is infected with HIV.
AIDS is not over.
This makes awareness campaigns, education, donations, and any efforts we might unite in all the more relevant.
We at the UMFA join with the rest of the world to recognize this day, to mourn with those who have lost loved ones and to stand with those infected.
How will you recognize World AIDS Day? How has this epidemic affected you?
P.S. Here is an incredible piece featuring–but not entirely focused on–AIDS and the myth of Patient Zero (by RadioLab).