Wednesday, December 1, 2010

World AIDS Day

As someone who has grown up in a country where approximately 10% of the population is either HIV- positive or is suffering from AIDS and who has been impacted personally by this disease, World AIDS day has a special meaning for me. I have seen first hand what this pandemic has done. Everytime I have to go to the state hospital, whether it is for a checkup for my BIH or to see the psychiatrist I see them in the long passages walking their last few days away every now and then someone with full-blown AIDS is wheeled past  us on stretchers.

A few years ago I went to a home for AIDS babies that my sister was volunteering at. The minute I walked into the nursery my eyes were drawn to a baby boy who was grinning from ear to ear. Everything about him said "Me!, me!, please hold me!". He was 3 months old and HIV positive. His name was Benjamen. When I held him it was like the first time someone had held him, he was just soaking it up. When I put him down again he immediately started crying. I have no idea what happened to him or whether he is still alive today. All I can remember is his smile. It hurts to know that he is just part of a statistic, that he most likely just became paperwork on someones desk- just a number.

I hope and pray for the day when there will be a cure for this awful illness and millions will be set free. But in the meantime it all comes down to responsibility. By having safe sex you are protecting yourself, your partner, your future and preventing the spread of a pandemic. Use a condom EVERY time people. Everything you do will eventually effect someone else eventually and you never know when it may be an innocent child like Benjamen. And don't think that AIDS is a disease that is just confined to Africa or India. I have lived both in the United Kingdom and the US and I can tell it is a wolf at your door.


  1. AIDS is drawing a lot of attention in Japan, too, because more and more people die because of it. I once saw some gay haters blame gays, quickly concluding they play a critical role in spreading the disease. This kind of attitude toward gay people always saddens me, but I think people are starting to learn that is not necessarily the case. I, too, hope AIDS will be curable!

  2. Unfortunately this stigma originates from when AIDS was officially declared a pandemic in the 80's because the virus was discovered in a few gay men. The death of Freddy Mercury and the exlposion of HIV in the gay community kinda made a lasting impression. It was even called Gay- related immune deficiency at first.

    Now we know it is clearly a disease that affects everyone and there is proof that it didn't even start in the gay community. But people always need a scapegoat. It angers me that people are still so ignorant and look for something to blame instead of facing the actual problem. Those are the people that will most likely sit on their hands and do nothing.

  3. Awwww - this broke my heart - reading about the sweet baby boy you held... sweet Benjamen... the innocent victims in all of this...

    I too hope that one day AIDS will be a thing of the past...

  4. Thanks Christine, it was that little boy that made AIDS so real to me-where I began to see the massive statistics as actual people. I still think of him a lot and I am trusting that God has a special plan for him, whatever may have happened.