WORLD AIDS DAY: December 1, 2008

The AIDS pandemic: twenty-seven years and counting. 

Please give a moment today to reflect upon the over 25 million people who have died as a result of AIDS since 1981.  And the estimated 33 million people currently living with the disease.  That includes about 500,000 in the United States.

Recently a mathematical  analysis showed that AIDS could be wiped out in ten years, if everyone on the planet got tested regularly, and those with the virus were immediately treated with anti-retroviral drugs.  Unfortunately, that scenario is far, far beyond plausible.

Note also that the medications do not cure the disease, merely hold it at bay.  But infected persons who take the drugs (and they must continue to take them throughout their lives) are much less likely to transmit the virus to others. 

There are people living with AIDS in your community.  There are people living with AIDS all over the world.  They are not “others,” they are our brothers and sisters, our neighbors and friends.


8 thoughts on “WORLD AIDS DAY: December 1, 2008

  1. that would be so great if AIDS could be wiped out in 10 years. i never forget about the disease because i had just become promiscuous in 1984-85 when AIDS was just beginning to be talked about. i knew many people that died in the early 1990’s from this horrible disease. it amazes today that it is a disease that people can live with when it was a death sentence in the 80’s and early 90’s.    

  2. Rough year for the hope of an AIDS vaccine – after the botched Merck trial it may be a dozen years before regulatory bodies allow any vaccine to make it to clinical trial.  A clear and disturbing indicator that nearly three decades in we still haven’t got a clue what kind of beast we’re dealing with. 

  3. Having been a child in the ’80s, I remember when AIDS was at its most misunderstood and demonized. Ignorance ran rampant. I feared I could get AIDS merely by touching something that had been touched by someone with the disease. There were even people who theorized that the virus was air-borne.Thank God society is more well-informed now.

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