At 64 I was part of that first AIDS generation. But not truly part, in age only, because I was still in denial during the worst of the crisis, honestly thinking I was straight, living straight, removed & safe from the danger with a US Army career, exposed to no HIV risks.
When I finally came out in 1995 at 46 I learned that my age group had already been decimated, a "lost generation" where my peers were missing. So I determined to amend for my mistake, my ignorance, and become involved in HIV/AIDS causes.
My first husband was HIV+. We both worked for HIV causes. Then he contracted AIDS and died very quickly, literally in my arms.
I continued to deal with HIV/AIDS issues. Then I found my current husband 6 years ago, who had lost his own partner to AIDS. Today we both do HIV/AIDS volunteer work together.
He's a bit more dramatic than me about it. He says God spared him during the AIDS plague for a purpose, to do HIV work. I just consider it my duty, more a military attitude. My good health imposes upon me the responsibility to help those with poor health in our community, and to prevent the healthy from falling ill. And that's what it means to me.