World AIDS Day has a huge significance for me. Not because of the experiences I’ve had or the people I’ve met on this day over the years. Not because I know people facing this disease head-on. But because it is the one day society seems to collectively raise their heads and acknowledge the damage this disease is wreaking on our world. I feel that there shouldn’t have to be a designated day for people to take action (much like I think people should tell each other they love one another all the time, not just on Valentine’s Day), but if this one day is the day people are going to look up, I’m going to take advantage of that.
A few facts:
– When AIDS became a concern, there were fewer than 50 serious reported cases
– 25 years later nearly 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS
– almost 3 million are children, and AIDS has orphaned 12 million children in Africa
We’ve all heard the statistics. We all selfishly live our lives in spite of them. Heck, I claim to be passionate about fighting this disease and even I get self centered and focused on my own little world a lot of the time. I’m not blaming anyone for their actions (or inaction, as the case may be), but let today be the day that your focus shifts, even if only a little. Maybe you don’t have to stare HIV/AIDS in the face every day in the eyes of your friend, your lover, your child… but a whole hell of a lot of people do.
Everyone can do something. How are you going to help change the world today? Here are a few places to start:
World AIDS Day
San Francisco AIDS Foundation
At the very least, take a few moments out of your day to say a special prayer today for those living with and for those fighting the war on HIV and AIDS.