Mid-life gay men have lived most of their adult lives through the lens of
HIV/AIDS, experiencing the loss of partners, friends, and people in their
community. As witnesses to such a phenomenon their voices have seldom
been heard and their needs largely overlooked. Having once been the
activists, caregivers, and volunteers for our community, many mid-life gay
men now feel invisible and isolated. Yet, having survived HIV, we are the
tenuous link between younger and older generations of gay men – and we
have remarkable stories of courage, bravery, creativity, and resilience.
The introduction of terms such as “post-AIDS” and “chronic manageable
infection” into the HIV discourse ignores the complex emotional, social, and
spiritual implications of having survived 25 years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
With the introduction of effective and life-sustaining treatments for HIV in the
mid-1990’s, the unrelenting war against AIDS entered a new phase: post-
crisis, that is to say that the unending cycle of death in the gay male
community slowed to a trickle. This makes processing of our history with AIDS
and healing our hearts possible. Mid-life gay men are a group greatly
overlooked, yet one teaming with courage, bravery, creativity, and resilience.
Our stories are aching to be heard.