Thursday, December 01, 2005


World AIDS Day

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Some sobering facts about HIV are despite not being in the media at times the disease is still rampant around the world.Question to be addressed is why is this disease still spreading like wild fire and how can it be slowed?

In the Caribbean the infection rates are second only to Sub Saharan Afica.Right here in my island I know of a family that has lost two children both under 25 to the disease.I still tear up when I remember the mother's anguish on hearing of her son's diagnosis not long after burying her daughter.Some 4.9 million people have been affected for 2005 (and over 40 million worldwide are living with HIV).Half of these are younger than 25,and half are women.I don't think I need to even say what the implications are for developing countries.

Worldwide, the virus is spreading faster than efforts to vanquish it. The ambitious "3 by 5" goal — 3 million people with HIV treated by the end of 2005 —set by the World Health Organization and UNAIDS in 2003 has not been met. Treatment only reached 2 million people.And naturally,the undeveloped countries are at a disadvantage when it comes to obtaining much needed treatment.

Can we fight HIV/AIDS? Yes,if we would only recognise that the fight against it begins with us.That means a willingness to get the facts,act on them and share the information with others.It also means trying to get rid of the stigma and the moral judgements-the married woman who contracted it from her husband is not more worthy of our empathy than the young woman who is seen as promiscuous.So,spare a thought today for all those infected and the others whose lives have been disrupted by the death of family members.

Kami, I feel the 'stigma' is less of an issue today than say ten-fifteen years ago.

Many people know about HIV today, but there are still those whose ears continue to remain deafened! Sad.
IMHO the two main stumbling blocks to people with HIV/AIDS receiving treatment are; the legislators who slow the release of new drugs to the public, citing reluctance to test on humans, and the damn pharmaceutical companies who sell the medications for exorbitant profits and deny 'third-world' companies the opportunity to produce cheap generic versions by threatening litigation.

If enough people could make an organized effort to defy them, what could they do to stop it? They can sue one or two companies, and arrest one or two people, but they can't if there are 50, 100 or more doing it... It's a 'who ties the bell on the cat?' situation.

It's a sad fact. Here in the Bay Area, focus remains to be on MSM (Men who have sex with Men), while the alarming trend is that it's affecting Black Women. If they don't spend the prevention dollars to curb this trend, then it will become an epidemic for Black women...Please don't get me started on my soapbox!!
A close family friend died of AIDS before I was born. And my father especially has remained active with the issue since his friends death.

The education regarding HIV/AIDS should be stricter. Certain school disticts don't want to touch the subject because it deals with sex. Maybe if more attention was focused on that issue as well as the AIDS crisis in Africa, everything would be a little better.
The main problem is ignorance, and the myths surrounding AIDS. Even those who are supposed to know better think they are "invincible" and think that by taking the minimal measures to protect themselves they'll be ok. You'd be surprised to see how little the average teen knows about protecting themselves.
It is all very frightening, let me tell you... and I have a kid growing up! We can do our best to instill the right values, but the wrong ones are being pushed everywhere! It s going to be a hard battle and the price is very high!
I spent a lot of time dealing with the AIDs issue, as my job used to entail trying to sell technology to sub-saharan Africa. AIDS is so rampant there, you have to factor it in every single aspect of planning. Just like worrying whether there will be power, you have to plan on the fact that you can't keep a healthy trained work force. There are countries where almost 2 in 5 adults have AIDS.

They are launching a campaign today called "We all have AIDS" trying to use celebrities to make people aware that it is no longer a disease of any specific group of people. Except for the fact that everywhere people of color lives, AIDS is amazingly high. We're at war, and I'm not sure anyone realizes we're losing.

Thanks for pointing this out.
Well said Kami. What worries me is that with the lessening of the stigma unfortunately comes the lessening of the fear and care to guard against the disease.
AIDS has become the gratest of Man's enimies. This deseas has spread and killed so many people thus far and there seems to be no stopping. It's very alarming the rate of infection here in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

You are right one of our weapons, is to vanquish the stigma and the next is to change our lifestyles to prevent the spread of this terrible disease.
What has been observed at the clinic that was made specifically for HIV/AIDS at the hospital where I work is the increase in sexual activity amongst many of the patients. They are now getting the anti retroviral drugs at an alarmingly cheap price (which is a good thing) and hence, living more healthily.

As a result, the sexual appetites of some is on a high, and it is feared that these patients may well be contributing to further spread of the virus....though they are supposed to know better. Many of them do not tell their partners of their HIV status. Recently I saw one who was pretty destitute financially with many medical problems, and unable to purchase drugs. His sole concern was that he needed Levitra tablets! Need I say more?
I'm just glad so many people are taking AIDS Day seriously.
Indeed it is good that people are taking this A.I.D.s thing a lot more seriously. There has been good news today too as apparently studies are showing developing nations are now as successful in issuing the remedies as developed nations. A step in the right direction, even though many more steps need to be taken.
Thank you for sharing this with us....I think a lot of people put the whole thing out of their minds as opposed to dealing with it.

You are absolutely right in saying we as a whole can help fight this disease if only we are more educated and careful!

Thanks for stopping by :)

Great post by the way.

oSound words !
I recently heard that an american drg manufacturer had developped a drug that can stop the HIV virus from spreading.
However, due to extremely high R&D costs, they're refusing to give it away for free.
Did this company not know what the AIDS situation was when they decided to devote time and capital into this project? It seems that they should have known that the countries who are the most in need of the drug, would not be able to pay the big bucks for it. For the sake of humankind (as opposed to in the hope of making profits), this company should make this drug available to (and possibly even impose it upon) ALL individuals in the world who are affected by the virus. This will be the only way that we'll be able to fight AIDS and be rid of it for good. My heart and my prayers go out to everyone who is in anyway affected by this disease...
unfortunately too many folks are still practicing unsafe sex...some folks are bi-sexual and aren't telling their mates and then there are those who just think, "Oh, that can never happen to me."
I Have several friends whoses mothers died of AiDs and some of them are also infected.But I dont know what to tell them yeah I love them they are practically my family but what can I do my bestfriend is slowly dieing and I cant help
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