World AIDS Day is coming up and thought I would talk about how serious a problem HIV has really become all around the world in honor of the day.
World AIDS Day is a day to Bring education, awareness and very important funding to a disease that some people simply don't think about anymore.
World statistics are growing every year and not just in Africa. All countries are effected by this virus and we really need to educate people and our children better. This year 191 countries are participating in the observance and most are offering free testing, seminars, and rallys.
Right now according to Avert over 33 million people are infected with HIV and over half of them contract the disease before they're 25 years old and end up dying before they are 35 years old.
Learn more about the disease at web MD.
In the U.S. where I live we have a pretty serious problem as well. Here's a chart I got from Your STD Helps World AIDS Day section.
Now those are some serious numbers especially in big city areas like NYC.
The real problem though is how people perceive these numbers. Often people don't think that it will happen to them or think that no one really is infected around them and that's just not true. Let me tell you a couple story's of a good friends of mine.
I had a good friend that worked hard all their life and had a good rounded family and was a pretty decent guy. He was a Marine and got called off to war. When he came back after two tours he was hurt pretty bad and was prescribed some heavy duty pain killers which he slowly got addicted to. When his leg had healed he was still addicted but had no way to get the medicine that he learned to love so much (sad but very common) since he wasn't able to work he started hanging out in bars and meeting some not so good people. Long story short he developed a heroin problem. Little did he know that the guy he was getting it from had not just HIV but full blown AIDS. Well his story is a little different then what I'm sure happened but he is now HIV positive and while it is his fault he kind of fell into that scene. He had never done drugs before he got addicted to the pain killers. And that's just one story and that was in one of the least HIV problem states in the list above.
I now live in Denver, CO and I live in the gay district called Capital Hill. I live here because it's right in metro Denver and it's cheap. Plus my neighbors are nice and it's a safe neighborhood. I don't go out much but I've met a few gay men out here and they're a blast! Except out of the four that I know one has HIV and he knows lots of others that have it as well in the gay community. They are high risk people. They don't use protection, they have multiple partners, and some of them simply don't believe that HIV is even real and just propaganda, according to my infected friend.
This kind of mentality is all over the country which is why more education is needed. Whens the last time you saw an HIV PSA on t.v.?
The point I'm trying to make is that people trivialize the disease and think that it's not all around them, but it is. Heck my friend the Marine lived in the middle of the woods. I would never had expected HIV out there and that's really the problem. People just don't think it's right there.
So where ever you live in the world and country see what's going on in your area because there are events everywhere and see if there is anything you can do. If your not comfortable with that then at least make sure all the people around you are educated.
What do you really know about HIV and AIDS? Does anyone here know anyone that has HIV? Chances are someone you once new is at least connected with someone that has it. And while that's not as big a deal as say cancer it is spreading and it can get a lot worse without more education.