Saturday, December 01, 2007
World AIDS Day 2007
World AIDS Day 2007. More than twenty five million dead. More than 33 million living with HIV. Some encouraging progress. But still no reason to celebrate.
Across the world more and more people are being tested for HIV and put on treatment, the cost of which is at levels unimaginable just a few years ago.
So why aren’t we having a big celebration on this World AIDS Day? Because overall — and certainly in consideration of our abilities — we’re not doing nearly enough to address the disease.
And nowhere is the situation worse than in Africa.
....out of the 33 million , 27 million are in Africa, and only about one million are receiving treatment. That means that nearly 2 million Africans will die of AIDS this year and roughly that number will be infected.
And many more will be affected...or devastated.
Imagine how many people would be directly impacted if YOU were dying of AIDS. Would it be 4, 6 or 10? Certainly 6 is a conservative figure to settle on. That’s the multiplier that should be applied to all AIDS data. Six times 27 million Africans is how many people are really directly impacted. That translates to virtually one-third of the continent.
If you want to know what some of those faces look like check out a video that was released today by Queen and Paul Rogers for Nelson Mandela's 46664 Organization.
Meanwhile in Canada about 2500 people get infected every year, and the real figure is believed to be almost double. More young women are getting sick. Aboriginal people made up 22 per cent of positive HIV tests in 2006...even though they only make up about five percent of the population. So the battle continues.
"It is regrettable that during this time when the HIV/AIDS epidemic is unstable and increasing within some populations, your government has cut funding which will affect the very programs and services aimed at abating the epidemic.... This signals a lack of leadership on and commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS in Ontario, and across Canada."
Remember the dead. But also remember and support the living. Like Kenn or my friend Billy.
And if you're young and gay...or straight...or for that matter any age...or anyone.
Remember to live long enough to find the one you love...