Today is World AIDS Day
It is a day devoted to raising awareness for the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. It is a day when we reflect on those who have died and those who live with this virus and this disease. It is a day or sorrow for many… as is every day for those suffering with the virus.
It is a day most of us should be grateful… as most of us do not have children who are infected with HIV. Most of us do not have HIV/AIDS so we don’t worry about who will care for our children when we are gone. Most of us don’t even know someone up close and personally who lives with the virus. We should be grateful to be so unaffected.
At the same time, we cannot forget all of the mothers around the globe who ARE affected and infected. We cannot forget the 14.2 million children who have been made orphans by HIV/AIDS. We cannot forget the mothers ravaged by depression because they birthed HIV+ children. We cannot forget the efforts made by a few to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS with a few simple pills a day.
We cannot forget every mother around the world who wants nothing more than what most of us have: happy, healthy, disease-free children.
I have HIV+ friends. I’ve lost HIV+ loved ones. I’ve worked with HIV+ clientele, also mentally ill and/or homeless. I watched my own mother become heavily involved in AIDS organization after she lost her best friend in the 80s. Her work inspired me as I hope to inspire my son. I want him to be compassionate to the plight of other children. I want him to grow up with a passion in him to DO something. My son is among a generation born with no knowledge of a time without AIDS.
I can only hope his generation puts an end to it.
One thought on “Keep A Child Alive”
When I was a child, in the 1990s, we still thought AIDS was a sure death sentence, for everyone. I remember watching stories of Ryan White, seeing the movie Philadelphia. At school, we made quilt squares that got put into the large quilt for those who died of AIDS. As a teenager, I was the leader of our schools peer counseling. We sold red ribbons every World AIDS Day week to raise funds for the AIDS Fund in Philly. I’ve walked in I think 6 AIDS Walks between Philly and New York.
This year, I attempted to give blood this World AIDS Day. I was ultimately unsuccessful b/c I’m taking antibiotics for a pink eye infection, so they wouldn’t let me give. But I have O- , CMV – blood, so I can give to everyone, even children. I like giving in my community, cause I feel like I can see what I’ve done, for people I look at every day. And blood donation is critical, even if its not specifically for AIDS patients.
AIDS does not have to equal death anymore. In less than 30 years, what was once a disease that predicted sure death in only a few short years, one can now live a long and productive life, if only one has the medicine and health care. But people all over the world are dying unnecessarily b/c of money. Mothers are passing HIV to their babies unnecessarily b/c of money. People are suffering b/c of money.
Benee is right. I want my children to grow up to be compassionate people. People who take note of other people’s needs before they focus on their own wants. I want them to see their fellow human beings as brothers and sisters to whom they are responsible, just a little bit. If we all did that, our world would be such a happier place for all of us.
So, instead of my blood, which was rejected, I gave to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria. It means less Starbucks for me this week, but that’s okay. I urge you all, pick a reputable charity, be it Keep A Child Alive, the Global Fund, Partners In Health, etc., and GIVE. Isn’t a child’s life worth more than a gingerbread latte?