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             Death is a normal and inevitable part of everyone's life. Yet few of us are prepared to deal effectively with someone who is dying. Very often we are left feeling powerless and helpless. There is a sense that there is little we can do to make a difference during this time. AIDS has caused many people to confront the issues of death and dying earlier than they ever expected to. A death from AIDS is especially tragic as it cuts people down in the prime of their life often before they have realized their hopes and dreams, this creates a very profound sadness. A virus called HIV causes AIDS: Human Immunodeficiency Virus. If you get infected with HIV, your body will try to fight the infection. It will make "antibodies," special molecules that are supposed to fight HIV. Personally, I do not think that anyone who has not been through the ordeal has the right to say that living with AIDS is hard. Including me, I do not have the slightest idea what people living with AIDS go through. I can still remember the first time I heard about AIDS. It was kind of sad; it was not from my parents, nor my school, nor friends. It was from Pedro Zamora, from Real World: San Francisco on MTV 1994. I was 14 years old and nobody had told me what AIDS was. I can't really say he changed my life, but I could say that he helped me realize what life can bring and take from you. Pedro was an inspiration to me, not only because he educated people about his sickness but also because he never said he was dying, he always said "he was a man living with AIDS." I learned from Pedro, how HIV is transmitted, how safer sex practices can protect against AIDS, and what the virus does to the body. I also learned the specifics of condom use, T-cell counts, night sweats, pneumonia, and how AIDS robs the body of its ability to fight infection. My mom felt kind of bad about that, she wanted to tell me all that stuff. A few months after filming of the Real World: San Francisco ended, in November of "94, in a hospital room filled with his family and friends, Pedro finally gave way to AIDS.

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