Friday, December 1, 2006

World AIDS Day

Today, we remember the 40 million people infected with HIV and/or AIDS, and for those who have passed from this cursed disease. The irony that I share my 33rd Birthday with World AIDS Day is not lost on me. I have been hiv+ for almost 5 years now, and for me, looking in the mirror reminds me that every day is World AIDS Day.

We have become complacent in our thoughts, ideas and actions. So many people are still suffering this disease and most of them are suffering with so much less than us. We all share many things in common, but above all is our Humanity, and compassion.

As I write and look at the statistics, tears flow. Please, please, please, I beg of you all, to remember to give or do what you can to fight this disease. Give to your local AIDS charity, hospice or write to your local politicians or community leaders. Help by extending a hand by giving the one thing we value so much these days: your time. Give it willingly and volunteer or spend the time educating yourself, friends, family, and children that this disease is still here, with no cure. It is still here haunting and destroying us and we cannot be complacent about that.

Remember having the disease, does NOT make us diseased. The warm touch of a compassionate heart can heal in so many ways, so please don't turn away.

If you would like to read more about my personal exeriences and struggles, please go to my alternate blog Epicureal Thoughts.

Here are some staggering statistics from Avert:

Estimate Range
People living with HIV/AIDS in 2006 39.5 million 34.1-47.1 million
Adults living with HIV/AIDS in 2006 37.2 million 32.1-44.5 million
Women living with HIV/AIDS in 2006 17.7 million 15.1-20.9 million
Children living with HIV/AIDS in 2006 2.3 million 1.7-3.5 million
People newly infected with HIV in 2006 4.3 million 3.6-6.6 million
Adults newly infected with HIV in 2006 3.8 million 3.2-5.7 million
Children newly infected with HIV in 2006 0.53 million 0.41-0.66 million
AIDS deaths in 2006 2.9 million 2.5-3.5 million
Adult AIDS deaths in 2006 2.6 million 2.2-3.0 million
Child AIDS deaths in 2006 0.38 million 0.29-0.50 million

Some more statistics:

More than 25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981.

Africa has 12 million AIDS orphans.

At the end of 2006, women accounted for 48% of all adults living with HIV worldwide, and for 59% in sub-Saharan Africa.

Young people (15-24 years old) account for half of all new HIV infections worldwide - around 6,000 become infected with HIV every day.

In developing and transitional countries, 6.8 million people are in immediate need of life-saving AIDS drugs; of these, only 1.65 million are receiving the drugs.