December 1st is World AIDS Day. Established by the World Health Organization in 1988, World AIDS Day serves to focus global attention on the devastating impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Observance of this day provides an opportunity for governments, national AIDS programs, churches, community organizations and individuals to demonstrate the importance of the fight against HIV/AIDS.
With an estimated 38.6 million people worldwide living with HIV at the end of 2005, and more than 25 million people having died of AIDS since 1981, December 1st serves to remind everyone that action makes a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Sadly in the last ten years I have lost six friends to AIDS.
Americans should be reminded that HIV/AIDS does not discriminate. With an estimated 1,039,000 to 1,185,000 HIV- positive individuals living in the U.S., and approximately 40,000 new infections occurring every year, the U.S., like other nations around the world is deeply affected by HIV/AIDS.
The first two were brothers Randy B. and Travis B. who lost their personal fights with AIDS at the young ages of 31 and 34 respectfully. Both suffered from Hemophilia and contacted the virus through blood transfusions.
Sherry C. was just 29 when she died of AIDS. She contacted AIDS from a former boyfriend that had unprotected sex with prostitutes. The ex boyfriend is still alive thanks to his 'cocktail mix of meds' that he takes every single day.
Bill and Mike who were partners and owned my favorite hole in the wall restaurant in San Francisco. Both contracted AIDS before they met, and they found each other at a support group headed by my father.
Mona D. I met her just six months before she died. I met her doing volunteer work at a local hospital here in San Diego. Mona contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion during emergency surgery while in the Congo. I believe her death hit me the hardest because she left behind four beautiful young children and her husband to raise them by himself.
Want to know more? Please visit:
UNAIDS Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
Teen AIDS-Peer Corps
FRONTLINE: the age of AIDS
Have a great weekend everyone! Comments are always appreciated.
Labels: AIDS, Health
N Posted by Rain at 12/01/2006 01:55:00 AM
posted at 12:56 PM
Remember the time down at Shelter Island when Randy and Travis were pushing us both in those shopping carts? LOL. We had so much fun with the both of them! God I miss them!
Aww, Sherry, she was a hoot wasn't she? Always the first to flash truck drivers on the freeway and to get phone numbers from strange guys =0)
Thanks for getting the word out and maybe within the next ten years there will be a cure for AIDS!
The Fat Lady Sings posted at 2:28 PM
Thanks for the reminder. I'm sorry to say I forgot that today was World AIDS Day. Isn't that terrible? And I too have lost colleagues to AIDS. People I worked theatre with - dancers, singers, choreographers. I will never forget the day I saw Steve Merritt's photo in ‘Entertainment This Week’s’ yearly AIDS photo memorial. My heart just about stopped. I went upstairs into my library and wept. He was not only talented - he was a very nice man. I worked chorus in a number of shows he choreographed. And he was dead - snuffed out by this horrible disease. There were other photos that year – people I had known and worked with; but Steve’s death hit me the hardest.
I heard on CNN today that AIDS is the number one killer of African-American women under 25. Think about that. The number one killer – and here in America. What happened to all the money supposed to go into research? The drug cocktails only work on a percentage of people – and the side-effects are debilitating. The virus mutates – making keeping up with it a difficult dance for researchers. More money, more effort needs to be targeted to help find either a cure or a vaccine. Africa is being decimated by AIDS – and no one blinks an eye. Why do I think if this was the primary killer of old, rich, white men there would already be a cure?
jedimerc posted at 9:49 PM
I was listnenig to the news about it. When I was a lad of 14, I did a science project about what people knew about AIDS (this was in '87) and it was remarkable how little was known but I learned a lot and always tried to stay aware... I actually wrote something about how AIDS has been out of the public spotlight, but like all plagues, it waits and is always biding it's time... I will be sure to post it tonight or in the morning.