AIDS: darkening in America
"I tell people that there are limited drugs available, and if they find a combination that works, they should cherish it," she says. "They often say, 'I'll never miss another dose again.' "
Facing disaster. Getting individuals and local organizations involved is key. Wilson has spent the past five years talking with leaders in civil rights organizations, the black media, the seven major black fraternities and sororities, and historically black colleges and universities, enlisting their support in making AIDS education a priority. "We need to bridge the gap between the medical community, which is overwhelmingly white, and the HIV community, which is increasingly black," says Wilson. "We are faced with the worst health disaster that our community has seen in the last century. What I do is ordinary. It's only extraordinary because we're not all doing it."
That the organization is successful is bittersweet. It is increasingly easy to debunk the myth that AIDS is a white gay male problem because people see otherwise. "We've reached a critical mass where everyone knows someone, and it breaks my heart that so many people had to be infected with HIV, to get AIDS, to die, before we got to this point," he says.
In America's black communities, AIDS needs a Marshall Plan. Wilson has started one, and, using the Swahili word for purpose, calls it the Nia Plan.