Wednesday, December 01, 2010



I know that I should have posted this first thing this morning but today seems to have run away from me and watching news items about World Aids Day took preference over posting about it.

The Avert website summarises as follows:

Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day is about raising money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. The World AIDS Day theme for 2010 is 'Universal Access and Human Rights'. World AIDS Day is important for reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.

According to UN AIDS estimates, there are now 33.3 million people living with HIV, including 2.5 million children. During 2009 some 2.6 million people became newly infected with the virus and an estimated 1.8 million people died from AIDS.

The vast majority of people with HIV and AIDS live in lower- and middle-income countries. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.


I find it depressing that some twenty two years after this annual awareness day began that the number of people infected with HIV actually increased by nearly 10% in 2009. I know it's often misleading and slightly disingenuous to reduce any discussion to numbers, sorry but my job does sometimes impinge on my personal life, but clearly the message is not being heard by everybody who should be listening. I know that great progress is being made in Africa with regards to condoms and even the head of the Catholic church has recently realised that whilst every sperm made be sacred, worries about over population and death from AIDS should always, always trump religious ideology.

Not every person infected with HIV or AIDS are the victim of their own ignorance or willful neglect, there are men, women and children around the world who are innocent of any action that would normally place them on any list of potential high risks. They should be remembered every day, but at least on 1st December each year national and international awareness is raised.

Well done David Beckham for wearing the AIDS 'ribbon' in Zurich this morning.

8 comments:

Span Ows said...

Well done. the problem with the "increase" is that each year to have no increase is all but impossible. 10% though is horrendous and that is that the problem has "one off the boil" with the media: it isn't even big news anymore. No wanting to generalise or be alarmist but I suspect 15% of the whole of sub-Saharan Africa is HIV positive, that is almost impossible to "reduce" as many thousands are BORN with it.

Paul said...

I think 15% is a very conservative figure from what I've been reading. You are right of course that no increase is impossible but 10% is depressing and the continuation of the disease from generation to generation is something little or nothing can be done about.

Span Ows said...

I was being conservative (as you do...) because not all countries as as bad as others, I know that some are as high as 35% of the adult population....seriously scary stuff.

Paul said...

You have to get the balance right, because as you said in your first reply this has "gone off the boil," in terms of newsworthyness. 30% would scare people off, 5% and people would say what's the problem, 15% is still roughly one in seven which is still huge and is a good starting point for a serious debate.

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