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.