Today is World AIDS Day. In case you haven't noticed, I've changed the color of my blog today in support of it. World AIDS Day was first observed in 1988, but hardly was it observed all over the world as it is today. It was only in 1995 that US President Bill Clinton made an official proclamation about World AIDS Day. On Wikipedia Here. It's a great thing that the Global community can rally together in support of people with AIDS.
Do you remember before that though? Do you remember when people still thought you could get AIDS just by touching someone who had it? Canadians at least will remember "Duane The AIDS Guy" on Degrassi High. While the show did a great job of educating about AIDS (for the most part) some of the stuff they said was...well, offensive. Things that wouldn't be accepted in a politically correct world today. If you really want to know, it's in the Degrassi High link above under Duane. I'm not going to repeat it here.
While it's great that we have been able to turn AIDS into a chronic disease instead of a death sentence, it's still not enough. You shouldn't have to take medication everyday just to be "normal". It needs to be fixed. Too many people live with this disease.
What's that, you say? YOU don't know anyone living with the disease? I bet you do, if even by association. We know a lot more people than we think we do. Co-workers, the barista you talk to every day when you get your Starbucks, your favorite bartender at your pub of choice. There are a lot of people we don't think about when asked if we know someone. We don't know all of their names, but we do know them. Chances are you do know someone with AIDS.
Numbers given by AVERT state that, for the end of 2009, 33.3 Million people in the world were living with AIDS. About half of those are women. 2.5 million are children and personally, as a mother, the scariest fact of all is the 16.6 million children that have been orphaned due to aids. I mean, anything like that just makes me want to start bawling, because I instantly think of my baby growing up with out me.
World AIDS Day is a great way to push for a cure, but we need to push more than one day a year.
If anyone is interested in the early years of the AIDS outbreak in the 1980s, here is a link to CBC digital archives. It's very interesting.
I think today is a day when we all need to do a Hope Spell, to give hope to those with this disease, and to have hope that maybe our children's children will never have heard of it.
Edited to Add: Here is the link for World AIDS Campaign, I couldn't find it earlier but Pagansworld.org on Facebook linked it! Thanks!