Monday, 1 December 2008
Bloggers Unite for World Aids Day
December 1st is World Aids Day when bloggers unite to raise awareness of this dreadful scourge that is still threatening life in Africa and causing untold misery.
My daughter was just 10 years old in 1981 when the first symptoms of aids were recognised among gays in New York and California. Then it was labelled GRID (gay-related immune deficiency) and it was not until the virus was later discovered that the labels HIV and AIDS were coined.
When my girl was 13, Rock Hudson died of AIDS. She and her friends could speak of little else. It was top of the agenda among young teenagers who became very cautious about sex and very knowledgeable about safe sex.
Sadly that attitude didn’t spread far enough or last long enough, and the disease has multiplied around the world. According to the American International AIDS Foundation, deaths from AIDS now total over 25 million, while some 38 million people are currently living with the HIV virus. Africa is by far the worst affected continent but Asia, and India in particular, is fast catching up.
The history of medical research to find a way to halt the deadly virus is a travesty of litigation versus humanitarian efforts. Relatively cash rich countries have provided education, condoms and testing, as well as medication to help the HIV positive lead longer and fuller lives. Where the cash is not available, people just suffer and infect other people, often without any awareness.
The proliferation of HIV and AIDS is a direct result of the poverty that so many of us abhor but feel quite helpless about. Even when we dig deep in our pockets and send money with our goodwill, we later discover that aid has been misappropriated. We can only keep on giving, blogging and praying that our small interventions will one day make a difference.
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