My favorite cousin died of AIDS during what I call the first wave, the early years. He was the older one, probably 17 when the rest of cousins were still under 10 years old. I didn't find out he had died until almost ten years after his death. No one ever talked about him being gay, let alone be dying of some new virus. It wasn't until his father's funeral, my uncle, did we find out, in quiet whispers in the back room of the funeral parlor, that he was gay and that he had died in the 80's of that "gay disease" - like it was dirty secret.
What is the dirty secret that needs to be told is the number of transgender people, most being transgender women, that have died of AIDS or who are living with HIV, but we never hear about them. Mostly, because that data is wrapped up in with the same data collected for those labeled MSM - Men who have sex with men. Not exactly the label I would use for someone who is MTF, not even close. As for FTM's well we are almost completely invisible, yet I keeping meeting FTMs who are living with HIV more and more.
AIDS is still killing us.