World AIDS Day 2007

"We are well into the third decade of a scourge that has expanded exponentially beyond a small specific group to almost every corner of the globe. Whilst in some areas, incidence may have turned, prevalence continues to rise and will do so for a long time- more young people will be infected, more orphans will occur.

Yet, today still 70% of infected people don’t have access to life saving therapies. Many still face stigma, economic deprivation and rejection because of their infection. Many still don’t have access to basic information or simple interventions that will reduce risk. This is not the time for complacency nor apathy. It is the time for compassionate leadership that recognises that the voiceless are often those who suffer most- who can they turn to if their leaders do not listen and heed their cries."
~Archbishop Emeritus Desmond M Tutu

"According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.2 million people living with HIV, including 2.5 million children. During 2007 some 2.5 million people became newly infected with the virus...Around 95% of people with HIV/AIDS live in developing nations. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.
Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day is not just about raising money, but also about increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done."

~Avert

This is a very real problem.

After working with the mentally ill I feel like I have just a smidgeon of understanding about how stigmas--ugly lies that society has convinced us to believe--can cause us to fear; how these lies can change us.

I remember the fear of AIDS/HIV when, as a kid in the 80s, we started hearing about this "new"disease and then watched as a teenager, Ryan White, made public his story. It still amazes me that two decades later people who suffer from AIDS/HIV are still suffering the stigma that comes from fear and ignorance.

All I ask it that people check out the links on this post. Maybe if more people understand what it is, it won't be feared as much. Let's make the world a better place.

"Remember this-that there is a proper dignity and proportion to be observed in the performance of every act of life." ~Marcus Aurelius

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