Michael Emanuel Rajner

More To Come...

Filed By Michael Emanuel Rajner | August 12, 2009 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: HIV/AIDS, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Sometime ago, Waymon Hudson invited me to contribute to The Bilerico Project-Florida to help educate Bilerico readers on issues from the perspective of a person living with AIDS and engage in HIV/AIDS public policy.

During the past year and a half I have struggled to find the energy and time to focus and contribute to Bilerico as I chronically battled a weakened immune system. Bil Browning's post last week, Do You Know Someone Who Died of AIDS
stirred so many emotions and provoked incredible dialogue on the issue of AIDS and the growing generational gap in understanding the issue prompted me to make more of an effort to increase me contributions on Bilerico.

When I moved back to New York City from Los Angeles in 1994, it was a year of horror as I learned almost weekly that the life of another friend was claimed to AIDS, several of which I dated. In 1994, a total of 16 friends were taken from this world. Two years later, I was diagnosed with HIV and advanced to AIDS in 1998.

My journey as a person living with AIDS has been rather remarkable. Its a journey I am preparing to share with readers of Bilerico.

Over the next few weeks, I will begin to share with readers some significant moments on my journey. Moments and experiences that include the effort to secure:

  • statements on HIV/AIDS from both 2008 Presidential Candidates at the 2008 United States Conference on AIDS

  • the incredible courage of Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Republican-Miami)to break from the party line and not only vote to oppose an amendment to limit federal funding for syringe-exchange programs, but also be a lead co-sponsor of legislation to repeal the ban on use of federal funds for these programs

As our nation struggles to reform healthcare, I hope to help inspire you to be an empowered voice of leadership and an instrument to create positive change.

Trust you are never alone!

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