My generation was slammed hard by AIDS. I was in college when people started getting sick with a mysterious disease that had no name. We had no idea what was happening, or why, and it was terrifying. Like a lot of young women, among my best and dearest friends were a couple of gay men. They were part of my social circle. We'd often go to a concert or just hang out and listen to records. They were great companions, loyal friends, and fun to be with. If I had a late class and was scared to walk back to my dorm, I could count on one of the gay guys to escort me home. If I had a cold, they never failed to bring soup or fuss over me in some other way. Rejected by their families, they made their own. After I moved away, I stopped hearing from them, and that is how I found out that each one of them, over the course of about two years, had died of AIDS. They'd been infected before anyone knew there was such a thing as AIDS. They never had a chance. I remember them all on this day - World AIDS Day - and every day.