When my brother Bobby was diagnosed with AIDS in 1987 it was a no-questions-asked death sentence. He had been living in Philadelphia with a guy I had never met. He had a beautiful, high-tech apartment. I went to visit him there once after he moved from Ocean City, NJ. Shortly after that my sister told me that Bobby’s friend had died of a heart attack. He was young and I don’t even remember his name. My brother was very upset but his story kept changing about how his friend died. First it was a heart attack, then he didn’t know. It was somewhat confusing, and at one point I thought that maybe it was AIDS but my mother pooh-poohed that idea. He lived in Philly for a short time after that then he moved back to New York. He seemed to have gotten over his loss and was living with a friend in Lindenhurst. His friend was a VP at Met Life in Manhattan, and would later die of AIDS, also. My brother was having trouble with his teeth and I made an appointment for him with my dentist. Bobby had white dots all over his mouth and his teeth hurt. I went with him to the appointment and the doctor stepped out of the office to speak to me. He asked me if I knew what a compromised immune system meant. I thought about it and then answered, “yes”. He advised me to take my brother for an HIV test. He wrote Bobby a perscription for thrush and we left the office. Shortly after that he went to Stony Brook Hospital and had a blood test. The results came back positive. Bobby had AIDS. It was June 1987. By August 1988 he was dead. One of the countless millions killed in the AIDS epidemic. There is no cure. Today is World AIDS Day. Protect yourself. It’s still out there.