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#WorldAIDSDay: Still Here, Still Affecting the Theater Community

The death from AIDS of theater artist Michael Friedman in September at the age of 41 was a shocking reminder that, yes, people still die from AIDS — and yes it is still affecting the New York theater community, a fact worth repeating on World AIDS Day, which is today.

About a million people died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2016 – and yes, although thanks to the miracle of modern medicine it is no longer an automatic death sentence, people do die in the United States, where, according to statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control,, it is the eighth or ninth leading cause of death for those aged 25 to 44.

As the CDC points out: “An estimated 1.1 million people in the United States were living with HIV at the end of 2015, the most recent year for which this information is available. Of those people, about 15%, or 1 in 7, did not know they were infected.”
There were 37,600 new HIV infections in the United States in 2014 — 26,200 of them men who have sex with other men.

For the AIDS Dead
By Frank Bidart

The plague you have thus far survived. They didn’t.
Nothing that they did in bed that you didn’t.
Writing a poem, I cleave to “you.” You
means I, one, you, as well as the you
inside you constantly talk to. Without
justice or logic, without
sense, you survived. They didn’t.
Nothing that they did in bed that you didn’t.

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About New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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