World Aids Day 2010

Today is World AIDS Day

Those of us who are not living with the disease tend to either shrug or give the day a passing thought ………. and go on with our lives. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, put HIV/AIDS into perspective when he said recently: 

“Whatever our role in life, wherever we may live, in some way or another, we all live with HIV. We are all affected by it. We all need to take responsibility for the response.” 

Like most people in North America who were not directly affected by this horrible disease I scarcely gave it a thought – until a good friend died before he had a chance to live a full life. He was a young man in the prime of his life, under thirty when he contracted the HIV virus. Uunfortunately in the early to mid ’90’s, even in a city like Toronto which is progressive, accepting, and open about gays and the gblt lifestyle, he was either unaware of where to seek help, or he did not recognize the symptoms and did not seek treatment for the disease until it was too late. Phil died over 12 years ago. Luckily he had a supportive family and friends who cared about him so he did not die alone. Others are not as lucky. This was a wake-up call to me that AIDS was not just a disease that affects people who live in sub Sahara Africa – it affects all of us. It’s a global epidemic. Here are some frightening statistics: 

According to recent information, more than twenty-five million people around the world have died of AIDS-related diseases. In 2009, 2.6 million people were newly infected with HIV, and 1.8 million

a mural in Ghana challenging HIV stigma

 men, women and children lost their lives. 33.3 million people around the world are now living with HIV. 

Every 12 seconds someone, somewhere is infected with the HIVvirus and 25% of new infections in Canada are young adults.

 Contrary to popular belief HIV/AIDS is not a “gay” disease.  The latest data on disease infection rates indicates that the highest incidence of new infection in North America is among young women under 25. Seniors are not far behind. Every adult is responsible for his or her own health and if you have children it is your job to teach them about how to protect themselves from all STD’s.

Started on December 1, 1988, World AIDS Day is about raising money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education about HIV/AIDS 

Becoming aware is the first step in understanding the disease and perhaps helping an individual with HIV/AIDS, or an organization dedicated to improving education about this disease to slow its spread. 

Here is one of the many videos about how you can help. Will you? 

Author

I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball

6 comments

  • Wave, thank you for recognizing World AIDS Day.

    My Phil was named Tim. He was sexy, beautiful, funny, an extraordinarily talented artist and poet…and 26 when he died. No one even knew he was HIV+, let alone that he was ill. His boyfriend kept that from us, saying Tim had gone to visit his family for the week, when he was actually in the hospital fighting PCP. Seeing his obituary in the paper was the first any of his friends know. It was horrifically shocking and so incredibly sad. Fifteen years later, I often think of him and wonder what wonderful times we could have had, what amazing creations he would have made, and I miss him, still.

    Within a year of Tim’s death, three more people I knew passed from the disease.

    One movie that never fails to move me is Longtime Companion, and I cling to the last scene when thinking about Tim, Tom, David and his wife, Kelly. In that scene, those who have passed all come walking over the dune at the beach to meet, hug, kiss and play with their friends who survived. And always, I long for the day I can see these friends again. I will miss them terribly until then.

    Reply
    • Hi Buda
      It’s tough every year remembering Phil and all the other Phils on this day.

      I’m really sorry about your friend and I can imagine how devastated you were when he died. I have no diea why his BF didn’t let Tim’s friends know so that they could support him in his final days. Maybe it was Tim’s wish. As for your other friends Tom, David and Kelly that is also so sad that they, too, never got to enjoy a long life.

      I’ll make a note to watch that movie – I don’t think I have ever seen it.

      Life throws us a lot of curve balls and brickbats and we have to hope that we hit the curve balls out of the park and duck the brickbats. 🙁

      Reply
  • I’ve seen what it can do to people. I’ve seen how it can strike out of the blue and hit even the unlikeliest or the most innocent person there is. Although sadly many people seem to have forgotten about it, AIDS isn’t dead. It’s still very much around.

    Reply
    • Feliz
      I think a lot of people feel invulnerable and think that the disease can’t touch them, even though we have seen athletes like Magic Johnson become infected.

      Awareness and protection are two of the keys to prevent infection, but many young men and women still take chahces.

      Reply
  • Great post Wave. While I have been fortunate that it has not touched my life directly, that doesn’t make it any less devestating of a disease. Research seems to be making some new and exciting strides forward these days, I hope it continues until a cure or prevention can be found.

    Reply
    • Thank you Tam. Every year at this time (and many other times as well) I think of Phil and how his life was wasted.

      As you said research is making great strides in beating this disease. Being aware of the cause and taking protection during sex is a key ingredient as well. I understand that the new mantra of teens is “no glove, no love”.

      Reply

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