( – promoted by buhdydharma )
It has been my custom over the past couple of years to observe World AIDS Day by opening a diary somewhere (tomorrow at Daily Kos is my plan this year) called Sharing Our AIDS Stories.
I started that off telling about my therapist and my friend, Kurt Wilhelm. Then I invited people to tell their own stories. The response was nearly overwhelming. I endeavored then, as I will tomorrow, to read and answer every post, until I got some helpers towards the end. At first the majority of comments were by people who talked about their friends or family who had died or who were living with AIDS, but as the day went on, more and more people living with AIDS started telling their stories.
It will be a little tougher tomorrow since it is a Monday and I will have to be at work for most of that time. Sadly, they expect me to work when I am at work.
As a lead up to tomorrow, I provide some links to some current AIDS stories in the news. But first a poem:
“The epidemic is lowly prevalent in general but it is highly prevalent among specific groups such as migrant workers, and in some regions particularly remote areas and the countryside,” said Wang Weizhen, deputy director of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment at the Ministry of Health, according to state media.
Just because someone has been infected by HIV doesn’t mean that they have AIDS. Someone who has been infected with HIV may be perfectly healthy and not realize they have the virus. However, eventually they may develop AIDS. The CDC estimates between 1 and1.2 million Americans have HIV or AIDS and around 25 percent of those don’t even know it.
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 half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35.
Around 95 percent 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.
According to UN figures, South Africa today has 5.7 million people – almost one in five adults – who are HIV positive. Over 900 people a day die as a result of AIDS.
But while its neighbours Botswana and Namibia suffered Aids epidemics of a similar scale to South Africa and took action, Mr Mbeki refused to provide his people with the essential medicines to save lives, the report said.
A few weeks ago during a conference in Los Angeles, public health officials and community leaders discussed the reasons behind the growing number of Latinos affected by AIDS. They attributed the phenomenon to a lack of understanding of the disease and a lack of information about how it can be transmitted.
As a result, Latinos don’t get tested as much as other groups. Latinos with AIDS sometimes are infected for up to 10 years before they are tested, so that makes it more likely that they could be spreading the disease without knowing it.