Make a Difference
The negative associations of HIV/AIDS - like those of cancer in the 1950's - have led to catastrophe.
That's why high-profile businesses and community leaders, along with respected organizations such as Rotary, can make a difference. Get talking, get involved, get the facts, and get doing to spread awareness and education.
It can be difficult to talk about
- Homosexuality - HIV/AIDS often incorrectly labeled a "gay man's disease"
- Injection drug users
- Anything spread by sexual contact
- A global catastrophe too enormous to contemplate
- High-risk behaviour
- More misery in Africa
- Our lifestyle supported by ongoing colonization and plundering of impoverished countries
- Slow, painful, messy death
- AIDS is fatal - there is no cure
- Nice people don't get AIDS
In the silence, nice people - good people - continue to acquire HIV through...
- Blood transfusions
- High-risk behaviour
- Monogamous spouses (often mothers with children) infected by wandering partners
- Infants infected at birth
- Breast feeding (from an HIV-infected mother to her infant)
- Occupational exposure in health care settings
- AIDS affects people of all ages, all genders, all races, all walks of life, all countries, all religious faiths
AIDS has become an insiduous attack on women and mothers
- 52% of new infections world-wide are now coming to women.
- 80% of women in many countries of Africa report that their initiation to sex is by rape. Victims who report their abuse are often arrested, charged with adultery, jailed and re-abused endlessly or even executed.
- In many countries, women have no right to say "no" - to their infected husbands or any man who wants them
- Abstinence is not an option - faithful wives and mothers are succumbing to AIDS while their children are still young - philandering is inherent amongst males in many societies. Sadly, this may take generations to change. We can't wait.
- 6,000 people per day are dying of AIDS
- A generation is being wiped out in many countries in Africa - and soon, if nothing is done, in other continents
- Orphaned children - 12 million in Sub-Saharan Africa alone - many HIV positive
- Teachers, civil servants, lawyers, doctors, doctors, health care workers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, people from all walks of life are dying of AIDS. People that form the body of civil society, that keep it functioning, are disappearing
- A generation of orphans coming of age in desperate circumstances will become self-raised adults - leading to instability in the region, political consequences and threats to developed countries.
- Young girls, raising their young siblings desperate to feed them, are turning to prostitution out of desperation, inevitably becoming infected themselves
- "Yes, I know I may get AIDS, but it will take 5 years to kill me. If I can't feed for my young brothers and sisters, they will die in weeks…" - African girl, 12 years old
- Local: loss of jobs and income, shunning, schoolyard bullying
- Overseas: women thrown onto the street if HIV positive, usually no treatment available anyway
Promoting sexual abstinence alone as a prevention strategy has failed dramatically - with tragic consequences
Yet people continue to be blamed for their sexuality, and backs are turned. Result: behind our backs, the AIDS pandemic continues to grow at the alarming rate of 2.7 million new infections each year.
The Global War on AIDS >