I heard about AIDS on the radio growing up. It was just another fact of life.
When I was ten, the AIDS quilt came through town. I looked at it in sober silence. In 1990, a small fraction of the quilt filled the entire floor of the sports center's basketball arena. I saw faces to put against the numbers I heard on the news.
A year later, we had to draw ourselves on a magazine cover for class. Other kids were drawing themselves as basketball stars, actors, models. I drew myself discovering a cure for AIDS.