World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS Day. Instead of have a thread that is full of negativity – I thought I’d try and point out the good things that have occurred in the fight against AIDS.

I suppose that the best recent event is the replacement on Thabo Mbeki as the South African president, which means that the link between HIV and AIDS will no longer be denied. This will undoubtedly lead to lives being saved.

I downloaded and read the 2008 report on the Global AIDS epidemic by the UNAIDS group, and here are some of the positives that I gleaned:

  • The global epidemic seems to be stabilising. The number of new infections fell to 2.7 million in 2007 from 3.0 million in 2006. Still unacceptable high but at least it is declining.
  • The number of new HIV infections of people under 15 declined again for the fifth year in a row. This is credit to the services that prevent mother-to-child transmissions.
  • Two thirds of the worlds countries have laws that protect the rights of those with HIV. Of course the remaining one third is an issue.
  • After nearly three decades of increasing mortality, the annual number of AIDS deaths globally has declined in the past two years

The report puts these gains down to the amount of money that is being spent on education and prevention. And to give credit where credit is due, the Bush administration has put in up to $48 billion to combat global HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

There is still a lot of work to be done to overcome this epidemic, but it seems that the we are on the right path globally. Sure – there are individual areas that are still extremely depressing and we should keep up the pressure on our governments to do more. 

For example, only five OECD countries (Denmark, Luxembourg, Sweden, the Netherlands and Norway) are currently meeting the pledge made in 2007 in the Declaration of Commitment to invest at least 0.7% of GDP towards development assistance.

joni

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11 Responses

  1. “… the best recent event is the replacement on Thabo Mbeki as the South African president, which means that the link between HIV and AIDS will no longer be denied. This will undoubtedly lead to lives being saved.”

    The importance of this can’t be overstated. You’d think that the odd stigma & superstition surrounding the virus wouldn’t still exist in modern times, unfortunately that isn’t the case.

  2. I think that one of the best things is that Aids sufferers are now treated with respect.

  3. “the best recent event is the replacement on Thabo Mbeki as the South African president”

    Amen to that.

    I lost a dear friend to HIV back in the late 80s…it still clutches at my heart. I coulda strung up the Reaganites back in the early to mid 80s…too many evangelical bigots having their say, too many cheapskates & slowpokes in that admin for my likings.

    I have a good mate who is now living w/ HIV & making the most of life…how things have changed. I just wish David coulda got access to the latest medical breakthoughs. But it wasn’t to be.

    Anyway, it’s good to hear we’re on the right path now joni.
    N’

  4. I don’t know if we are on the right path.

    HIV is on the rise in Australia; particularly in NSW and VIC.

    It seems that the ‘safe sex’ message is no longer having the same impact on today’s generation. Anecdotally they regard it as a disease of the past.

    Also, there are many people sero-converting due to unsafe sex associated with crystal meth use.

    Complacency is back. And that ratbag outfit of self-serving, self-preservationists ACON (Aids Council of NSW) have a lot to answer for.

    They are doing nothing except creating a career for themselves in the “Aids Industry”. Surely, if they were serious about preventing/ending the disease, they would actually be predicting their own death knell, so instead they pay lip service to it (‘let’s make some new posters’) and put out “how to take crystal meth guides” for the drug-taking public.

    ACON make me sick.

  5. “Aids sufferers are now treated with respect.”

    I doubt that’s the case at all.

    Those that I have known to have the disease have felt totally alienated by society and unable to tell anyone.

  6. reb

    I do not deny that we still have a major battle on our hands, and in certain areas the incidence of HIV is still rising.

    I am not so angry with ACON, they still do a lot of good work, but I do take your point as valid.

    Now CAAH – there is an organisation that has a lot to answer for.

  7. “Those that I have known to have the disease have felt totally alienated by society and unable to tell anyone.”

    Reb, it’s sad in this day and age that this is still the case.

  8. joni,

    The fact that aids is on the rise in NSW is evidence that ACON is completely ineffectual at what they were originally set up to do.

    Instead, they have twisted their mandate to suit their own purposes and continue to squander the government funding they receive on programs that suit their own agenda.

    They are more focused on perpetrating the drug-taking, party-mode, casual risk-taking sex behaviour rather than trying to address it, thereby perpetuating their own existence. They are in essence more concerned about maintaining their own existence than actually trying to wipe out the disease.

    You might think that they do good work, but they are very good at trumpeting their own success (in areas that have little relevance – “didn’t we have a great turnout at the Mardi Gras party!” – rather than trying to get HIV infections down, which I think is a considerably more important objective.

    They have failed pure and simple.

  9. Hello reb. Perhaps women and children receive some sympathy but not gays. Yes you are of course right. At the very least now a child can enrol in his/her local primary school without angry parents (who have tats) marching placards in hand.

    I was thinking that on this Worlds AIDS Day how sad I am for all those innocent people. And where AIDS is concerned everyone is an innocent. As the saying goes There but for the Grace of God go I.

  10. lets fifgt against it…lets spread awareness about this epedimic

  11. shweta…

    Yup, that’s the go!
    Awareness is key.

    I was always surprisedv that the grim reaper adds got pulled. Screw the “we don’t wanna shock people mentality”; in instances such as this a good slap in the face is what we all need to take stock of the gravity of the situation.

    Reb mentioned that AIDS is on the increase in OZ. Somebody needs to scare the sh!t out of the up & comers who missed out on the whole grim reaper episode. Ignorance is NEVER bliss.

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