World AIDS Day

Dear all,

Support World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS Day.

I am not going to cite all of the statistics for you, but I will say that developed countries have it pretty good in terms of access to treatment and care. We have among the lowest rates of HIV (well under 1% of the population), although the US does have some hotspots(DC, LA, New Orleans, others that you might not expect).

But the majority of HIV infection is concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa (almost 6% of the population). Some countries such as South Africa and Botswana are looking at prevalence rates of upwards of 20% of the adult population, with some citations pushing 40% for Botswana.

Recently UNAIDS published a report (executive summary found here) that provides a good summary and some nice graphics. The full report is available for download here.

The concerns that I have, 25 years into the epidemic, are related to access. There is no cure, there is no effective vaccine, there is no treatment for many people who cannot afford it. There is no care for those who are not yet poor enough or sick enough to access it – since funding is available to help only the most needy. There are not enough resources to prevent many orphans from becoming street children, although their families do their best to provide even when one or both parents have died. There is not enough funding being released NOW to have an impact.

Stepping down off my soapbox, I will now leave you with some other links that might interest you if you want to learn more or are thinking about taking action:

World AIDS Campaign
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: HIV/AIDS prevention site
Can consumerism fight HIV/AIDS?

And just in case you thought this post wasn’t about knitting, here are some knitting links for you.

AIDS red ribbon halter top – proceeds to charity

No pattern, but make a condom amulet!

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One thought on “World AIDS Day

  1. Nice post. Lost my best friend to this disease in 1994. He had it all- money, good family, talent, good looks, smarts and still could not get help in time to make a difference. And so little has changed, especially in Africa. Access is everything.

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