Recent advances in our understanding of HIV transmission, treatment, prevention and testing are changing the landscape of our response to HIV and generating a significant amount of optimism. The buzz at the International AIDS Conference this past July in Washington D.C. was that we may now be able to achieve an "AIDS-free generation."
Since 1996 we have developed better HIV medications and we live longer, fuller and healthier lives. People who are newly diagnosed and the young might not remember the endless funerals and whisperings about who was sick, who had committed suicide, or who had partied to death to escape the inevitable wasting and loss of personal strength and dignity.
It's certainly a good thing that we have better medications, but the AIDS industry has become so dichotomized and disjointed that it is not recognizable from those early "grass roots" days, where everyday people did what they could with little resources and a whole lot of heart. The grass roots of HIV have withered and died.