World AIDS Day

Today is the World AIDS day. I live in a com-munity where people I care about suffer from HIV/AIDS. I live in a community where and people I care for are the caregivers and family members and beloveds of someone who suffers from HIV/AIDS. So do you… trust me.

We need to work together to end the suffering of this disease, to end the stigma of this disease, and to stop the spread of this disease. It’s not beyond us – and it’s within our grasp. Here are some facts:

Even though HIV is a preventable and treatable disease, every 12 seconds someone contracts HIV and every 16 seconds someone dies from AIDS. 50% of all of HIV/AIDS illnesses are suffered by women, and 60% of all HIV/AIDS sufferers are from Sub-Saharan Africa. In Ethiopia, only 5% of those who need HIV/AIDS medications have access to them.

AIDS.gov states that,

“HIV and AIDS are life threatening conditions. There is no cure yet for HIV/AIDS. The transmission of HIV occurs through three well documented means: 1) having sex (anal, vaginal, or oral) with someone infected with HIV; 2) sharing needles and syringes with someone infected with HIV; and 3) being exposed (fetus or infant) to HIV before or during birth or through breast feeding. HIV transmission can be prevented through avoiding behaviors that expose someone to the means of transmission and by taking preventive measures if identified risk behaviors occur.

HIV is not transmitted through day-to-day activities such as shaking hands, hugging, or a casual kiss. You cannot become infected from a toilet seat, drinking fountain, doorknob, dishes, drinking glasses, food, or pets. You also cannot get HIV from mosquitoes.”

If you’re looking for more information on HIV/AIDs, World AIDS Day or ways to get involved, there are some great websites and organizations you can count to eradicate, educate, and enumerate the AIDS crisis. We need to make this happen – we need to end this pandemic. We need to care. We need to – now.

Avert, an international AIDS charity: http://www.avert.org/worldstats.htm
AIDS.gov: http://www.aids.gov/
In Ethiopia an HIV Orphanage where you can sponsor a child: http://ahopeforchildren.org/

If you aren’t going to do anything that requires direct education and effort on your part, participate as a consumer in the Product Red campaign. If you need something for yourself in order to give something to make a difference, go to Starbucks and have one of their (red) drinks – get a (red) ipod – buy a (red) Dell or shop at the Gap for a (red) item. Product Red saves lives. 9 drinks = one day of medicine …. so do it however you can. Please. Now.

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