It is so important in December to reflect upon the many blessings we have in the developed nations. Dec 1 was International AIDS Day. There has been so much positive research and change in the treatment of AIDS. We need to highlight that AIDS is a silent illness. It is estimated that 50 % of people are infected but don’t know. In Canada it is estimated there are 65, 000 + people with the illness. There are many myths about transmission. However, HIV can only be transferred through
- 1) Unprotected sex and sharing of sex toys
- mother- to child
- sharing of needles
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In 2006, I had the opportunity to attend the International Aids Conference in Toronto. It was a kind of experience. There were so many groups in the fight to raise awareness and end HIV/ AIDS. Many groups were fighting to end stigma. It was amazing- there were religious groups (Buddhist Monks) to prisons and women’s rights groups. The fight against AIDS needs supporters from every level of person.
I was inspired by young woman from Burkina Faso. She had suffered from HIV/AIDS but looked so healthy. This is thanks to the advances in nutrition and health. She was an amazing advocate for human rights.
I dream of a AIDS free generation for my children and your children. Will you help make this future a reality? We have come a long in preventing the spread of aids from mother to child, and that would be an impossibility without the help of communities and global citizens. Without compassion and empathy there can be no change. It is time to embrace long lasting deep change instead of using institutionalized band aid solutions.
For more information check out Amfar.