adBlockCheck

I Had AIDS Before It Was Cool

Top Headlines

Recent News

The Pros And Cons Of Taking A Gap Year

Malia Obama will wait a year between graduating high school and attending Harvard in 2017, in what is becoming a rising trend among American students. Here are the pros and cons of taking a gap year:

God Loses Pouch Filled With Crystals That Give Him Powers

THE HEAVENS—Grumbling to Himself as He frantically retraced His steps across the Heavens, God Almighty, He Who Commanded Light to Shine out of Darkness, admitted to reporters Monday that He had somehow managed to lose the pouch containing the enchanted crystals that give Him His powers.

Man Practices Haircut Request Before Heading To Barber

MINNEAPOLIS—Having scripted a set of lines he hoped to deliver with confidence and decisiveness, local 34-year-old Jason Clyne carefully rehearsed his haircut request several times Friday before heading to his local barbershop, sources confirmed.

Weddings vs. Eloping

Many couples who don’t want to put the time and money toward a wedding simply run off and get married in secret. Here is a side-by-side comparison of planning a wedding and eloping

EPA Urges Flint Residents To Stop Dumping Tap Water Down Drain

FLINT, MI—Citing the significant health and safety risks that it poses to public infrastructure and the local ecosystem, the Environmental Protection Agency released a statement Thursday urging residents of Flint to discontinue dumping tap water down their drains.

New OSHA Regulations To Cut Down On Workplace Mutations

WASHINGTON—In an attempt to address the troubling number of genetic transformations occurring in workplaces across the nation, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration unveiled new regulations this week aimed at reducing on-the-job mutations, sources confirmed.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Satisfaction

I Had AIDS Before It Was Cool

Look, I had AIDS before it was the happeningest, hippest virus on the planet. This means before the newsmagazine covers; before the red-ribbon couture; before the black-tie benefits with Madonna; before the pop-rock-stars-for-AIDS CD compilations; before the slick black-and-white full-page advertisements in glossy fashion mags starring twentysomething AIDS victims; before Keith Haring and Greg Louganis; before Benetton; before they designed it in all the hip, modern typestyles; and before it was a cool cause on college campuses. I was a pioneer, but I don't get any credit for it. And that pisses me off!

When I got the disease it was actually difficult to get. I not only had to go abroad, but I had to have sex with animals. A lot of animals. Now, it's about as hard to find the HIV as it is to find a Smashing Pumpkins album. There's no challenge anymore. Have sex with your neighbor, have sex with someone you meet at a bar, go to a seedy dentist, and chances are you'll sooner rather than later contract AIDS. It's no feat. The kids today don't have to work for it, not like I did.

And when I got the disease there was no support network, no marches, no quilts, no research, no nothing. I was leaping into an abyss. Now, if you get AIDS you're guaranteed at least a spot on the AIDS quilt, maybe a candle in some shimmering memorial somewhere, or an ad campaign or magazine feature about you, or maybe even a private luncheon with somebody like Ethan Hawke, who might be studying you to portray an AIDS victim in an upcoming hit movie. If you get AIDS now you can write your own ticket. You're a martyr. You're a real angel in America. Not when I got it. AIDS meant only two things when I came down with it: premature coolness and premature death.

All the hype has compromised the integrity of AIDS. Now, in addition to the agonies of the disease itself, I have to suffer by being lumped in with the rest of the mindless bandwagon-hoppers who took the disease on after they knew it was a sure thing. Who knows how many dorks have contracted the disease in a pathetic attempt to attain hipness? The question makes me shudder. I assure you, I am not one of those dorks. I had AIDS before it was cool.

Now Nike attaches "Just Do It" to AIDS. Now, a few more people buy shoes, and a few more people see the disease as something cool to have. That's exactly the kind of publicity I don't need. I will not be out-cooled. What I need is to catch an even trendier disease well before it becomes trendy. Maybe I'll bring polio back. Or else I'll spend some time in the biology lab creating a new disease, a new plague more devastating, more terrifying, more mysterious and, most of all, more cool than AIDS.

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close