Wednesday, December 1, 2010

World Aids Day: Knowledge to Stop Aids

December 1st (today) is World Aids Day.  It is a day that holds a lot of significance for me because like many world wide, Aids has affected my life. No, I am not HIV positive. I have however, had three HIV positive partners. One I lived with for 5 years. It was a very difficult time. Not only did he have HIV, so did my older brother and his partner. I also lost my nephew (only 6 months younger than me) in 1996. It was also the year I met my spouse. I wish I could say it ends there, but it doesn’t. I have another brother who while straight also is HIV positive.  The reason I say this is because it is atrocious that we have become complacent with HIV and AIDS. It hasn’t gone anywhere. In fact over 33 million people infected worldwide are proof that it hasn’t.

Yes, there have been strides in medicine regarding HIV/AIDS. Sure, it’s no longer the death sentence it once was. Medications are now lengthening the life span of those infected. Testing time and ways to be tested are faster (and just as accurate). Unfortunately this also means that our thoughts and fears about death from Aids have also changed, so much so that a buddy of mine told me on Twitter last night “ I don’t get Rah Rah over World Aids Day”. This from a gay man whom, like myself, has seen more than a few cases of Aids related deaths. Now is not the time to eschew HIV/AIDS as a treatable disease. Yes, it is a manageable disease, but there is still no cure.

I’ve taken the time to look up some information (like the video below). I hope you will look at it and make the decision to get tested. The newer tests take less than 30 minutes. Painless. Accurate. Life saving. To find out where to get tested please visit this online site. There is also information in the video.

Dr. Elly Katabira, head of the International AIDS Society (IAS) had this to say: 
Particularly, I’m concerned that some people are beginning to take it lightly.  For example, thinking that since drugs are available, therefore the disease is treatable.  This shouldn’t be the case. 
It’s up to us to stop the spread of this devastating disease. There are many worldwide that don’t have the access that developed nations do.  Far too many in Sub Saharan Africa and places like India are counting on everyone learning the facts. To many of them Aids CAN be a death sentence. So please donate, become educated, get tested, and above all, take charge of your health.


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