It’s Monday the first of December if you didn’t know, and despite what year it is on this day it’s always been the same since 1988.
Today is World Aids Day or International HIV/Aids Day or whatever you call it in your part of the world. I wanted to touch on this today simply because it is the day most likely for people to pay attention to it. Which is very sad because we can talk about Ebola and other diseases that ravage through the world and agree at how horrible it is but we can’t talk about HIV/AIDS even though it is probably the worst pandemic to hit the world ever and is still taking lives today.
This isn’t going to be a long post about all the facts and numbers concerning the disease. People actually know the facts more than they know about the disease itself, the risks and the ways to contract it and pass it onto others which annoys the hell out of me.
I always find myself, every December the 1st, explaining to people what my little red ribbon is about. Some are partially ignorant, and by that I mean they honestly don’t know.
“Oh, that’s that Aids thing! What that is about?”
While some are wholly, decidedly ignorant meaning that they do know they just don’t care.
“You supporting that stupid-ness?” (Yes, I am. Got a problem with that?)
Frankly I can take the partially ignorant ones. They may not have paid attention before because it wasn’t in their scope but most of the time they are open to actually finding out information. But I have little to zero tolerance for the second set which normally comprise of seemingly educated people who are stuck in their own personal bubble and stale decade old beliefs who refuse to open their minds to the truth about anything that they decided wasn’t truth 100 years ago. So they choose to forever not believe or take this thing seriously because of whatever reasons they had then that just aren’t relevant today anymore.
Little do they know that this same ignorance is what has caused the disease to flourish the way it has because nobody thinks it’s worth talking about. It’s just this nasty thing that only certain people get and if you get it you were doing something you’re not supposed to be doing. Just the fact that anybody would think that which shows how out-dated their information is.
So this year I decided to do a blog post on this topic so when people ask me I can tell them, “see Critics May Lie” if in need of information. No, I won’t do that. I’ll talk to them like a nice person unless I talked to them the year before and the year before that and they are still ignorant about it, then I’m sending you to the blog.
According to the site, WorldAidsDay.org ‘s about section, there are some main things this day is for.
One: To unite in the fight against Aids to show governments and the world it is still here, it is still an issue and we need to push harder to get rid of this disease.
Two: It is meant to raise funds to keep researching a cure for this disease and to provide continued care for people who live with it daily. Medications are extremely advanced for HIV. People can live with the disease for years, have a spouse and not pass it onto them, have a child and not pass it onto them, go to work and not pass it onto their coworkers. In essence have a life but if they don’t know that there can a be life after HIV how will they have any hope of moving on for the better? Which is why the day is also for…
Three: It is to raise awareness. Yes, you may know about HIV/Aids and how to get it and keep yourself safe but not everyone does (apparently) and they don’t all not know because they’re blatantly ignorant to it, most of them just don’t know because they had no opportunity to know. Or don’t know how to protect someone else from getting it from them which is also important. There are many ways the virus can and cannot be passed on and people should be aware of them. Check the sites.
Four: The day is also to remember loved ones who passed from the disease and support those living with it by saying, “you are not alone in this. Keep fighting for your life.” Now, this is the part many people have a problem with and again it comes from the ignorant belief that HIV/AIDS is something you get from your own wrong doings and that it’s your own fault so why should I support you when you did this to yourself by being stupid kinda attitude.
But this attitude helps no one.
I wonder if the disease didn’t start out as a sexually transmitted disease among gay men if people would have been more sympathetic, though it hardly is like that today (again outdated information). The disease today affects people of all genders, ages and races and wouldn’t have gotten that far if the original path of spreading it was still the only way you could get it.
Maybe if the pin was pink and not red, and maybe if the ‘victims’ were nurturing suburban mothers trekking the marathon’s with their bald heads, colourful head ties and families by their sides cheering them on, hearts would go out to people living with HIV more.
More than 35 million people have died from AIDS since it came on the scene and another 34 million are currently living with it.
Do people really think this is something we can continue to view with disregard?
34 million. That’s enough people spreading it around with little information on how to manage it and peoples idea of dealing with it is keeping everyone more in the dark about how to manage it?
It could be you tomorrow or someone you love and know. Would you like your life to be taken away because of a stigma over a disease that you have that statistics have shown you can live with for decades without infecting anyone with the right medication? Wouldn’t you feel frustrated over that and want things to change? Want people to change the way they treat and think about you so you could live your life just like any other person walking around with cancer, or with Alzheimer’s or Hepatitis.
Awareness is the key. Talking about it, letting people know of all the ways it can be contracted and passed on and letting people know about treatment and encouraging them to be more open with their status. This is what will stop the disease from spreading but if someone thinks they’re going to be victimised for having HIV and refused a job or treated badly by those around them then they won’t say anything and nothing can be done to safe guard those around them and the cycle continues.
So believe what you want to believe, but remember critics may lie but they’re right this time around so wise up and become more aware and less judgmental.
I’m just kidding! I’ll leave you with this video from the work my favourite artist does with HIV in the US though. It really touched me the first time I saw it and shows the true face of HIV/Aids today and why discrimination over a disease that can be managed in society can destroy peoples lives who just want to continue living and pursuing their dreams. These women are greater than AIDS and I support making them more empowered over this disease. Bye!
– Written by Travesaou
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