Friday, December 05, 2003


I neglected to mention World AIDS Day earlier this week. I actually didn't think too much of it until bedtime when I was flipping channels and came across a show on VH1. I won't even comment about why this show was on Vh1 rather than MTV (actually, MTV didn't seem to give a damn even though the younger audience watching MTV should learn more about AIDS).

In any case, the VH1 show focused on some of the latest numbers about the spread of AIDS. However, it mainly focused on the points in time when people were forced to deal with AIDS in some way or other. Ranging from Rock Hudson and the shock of Hollywood to Majic Johnson and the shock of athletes. While the show was interesting, it didn't do justice to the seriousness of what AIDS is doing to much of the world.

Before proceeding, I should mention that for years I had thought that AIDS would be less serious than more common diseases in the 3rd World like malaria (which actually affects many more people every year). Over the past couple of years, however, I've come to realize that AIDS really could devastate entire populations in less than a decade. But rather than talk about these generalities, I encourage you all to read what the Economist has written. It's very frank words for a population that may be sick of hearing about AIDS.

This is a free article:
Help at Last

Unfortunately these articles are only for subscribers, but drop by a newstand if you get a chance and read these relatively short articles:
A Mixed Prognosis
Lifting the Veil

The most alarming thing about AIDS right now is that it literally will prevent an entire generation of children from prospering. Here's a rather devastating excerpt:

Governments everywhere should look at Africa and tremble. In some countries, more than half the population will still die of AIDS. All of Africa's famines are now AIDS-related: hungry people lack the strength to fight off sickness, sick people lack the strength to grow food, and dead parents cannot teach their children how to farm. Other regions can avoid this, but they must act now. The rewards will come slowly; it will be years before current investments make a dent in HIV prevalence, let alone the death rate. The worst is yet to come

I could say much more about the possible affect of AIDS if it is not addressed in significant ways in the next few years. The brightest spot seems to be South Africa, where after years of denying that HIV even causes AIDS, they have developed a very realistic and comprehensive plan to get medication to a large portion of the population. The size & smarts of this program dwarfs anything that has been planned previously and it should give us all hope.

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