There was no relief from grieving my brother – until I realised an important lesson

When my older brother Jerry became ill with Aids in the 1980s, he was working as a psychologist in New York and I was living in a small cottage in Berkeley, California, with the man who is now my husband. I would phone Jerry every evening and fly in once a month to help him clean his apartment and stock up on food, as well as to discuss his treatments with his doctors and HIV researchers. On one occasion, while he was recovering from a parasitic infection that had caused lesions in his brain and given him dementia, he took my hand and said to me: “I’d be orphaned if it weren’t for you.”

Like hundreds of thousands of other brothers and sisters across the world, I kept telling Jerry: “Just hang on, because one day soon there’s going to be a cure.”

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