Guest Author - Suzanne Gregory
Started in 1988, and recognized every year since on December 1. Over twenty five million people worldwide have died of Aids since 1981 and over thirty three million are living with the disease today.
Even with the advancement in sustaining the lives of the people infected with the disease, over two million people lost their lives to it in 2007, and over 250,000 of them were children.
Signified by a red ribbon, awareness of the disease has been recognized by a proclamation of the President of the United States, every year since 1995.
Since 2009 over 21/2 million people became newly infected. Each year the day of Aids awareness is recognized with a theme. In 2009 & 2010, the theme was Universal Access and Human Rights to spread the word that although media coverage and awareness may have seemed to slow the progression of the spread of the disease itself has not.
Previous years themes were:
1990- Women and Aids
1991- Sharing the challenge
1992- Community Commitment
1994- Aids & Family
1995- Shared Rights, Shared responsibilities
1996- One world. One hope
1997- Children living in a world with Aids
1998- Force for Change: World Aids Campaign with children and young people
1999- Listen, Learn, Live: World Aids Campaign with children and young people
2000- Aids: Men make a difference
2001- I care. Do you?
2002- Stigma and discrimination
2003- Stigma and discrimination
2004- Women, girls, HIV, and Aids
2005- Stop Aids. Keep the Promise.
2006- Stop Aids. Keep the promise- Accountability
2007- Stop Aids. Keep the promise- Leadership
2008- Stop Aids. Keep the promise- Lead- Power- Deliver
Despite all the efforts, the spread continues. Despite the spread, condoms are not widely available and affordable for those of low income. Despite the sick, the dying, and the dead, much still needs to be done. It was only several months ago, that the Pope declared condoms an acceptable tool in an effort to prevent Aids. Twenty years of the disease being an epidemic, and now it is acceptable to use condoms to prevent the spread of disease. Maybe if it would not have been considered unacceptable before we would be further along in the fight against it.
Wearing a red ribbon once a year, is not enough. A once a year proclamation by world leaders, is not enough. A religious leader giving permission much too late, is not enough. My article about the day is not enough. When will we finally come together, and find a way that is enough?