World AIDS Day, worth thinking about

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aids awarenessby Iris Phillips, 100 mile Free Press, Canada

Dec. 1, was World AIDS Day but somehow I missed hearing about it or if I did I just didn’t pay attention.

I did spend a bit of time tracking the happenings of the Liberal Leadership Convention. Somehow it’s like watching the history of our country unfold right before our eyes. Fascinating stuff.

So somehow World AIDS Day just passed me by.

And to be honest, does it really matter?

You never hear much about AIDS anymore. It seems like the big scare of an AIDS pandemic never materialized. Isn’t there treatment now anyways?

And who can be bothered. There’s Christmas shopping to do and well the subject makes me uncomfortable.

I’d rather just not know about needles and bodily fluids.

Now the “bird flu” that’s really going to happen and I can feel the stomach get a little queasey about that one.

What if my son, or daughter or other people whom I love were taken away from me. I don’t think I could bear it.

But I was busy going through my e-mail at work on Sunday and I came across several e-mails about World AIDS day.

I glanced at one that said over 25 million people are infected with HIV/AIDs in Africa, 12 million of whom are orphaned children and 2.2 million who are under the age of 15.

Like most Canadians, I had heard that there was quite an AIDS epidemic in Africa, but again somehow in the busy-ness that is my important life, I have been able to push that information out of my head.

Then I saw another press release about 12,000 people living with HIV/AIDs in Toronto, that kind of surprised me. Who knew? And finally there was another e-mail about AIDS in British Columbia.

Did you know that there are 12,000 people living with HIV and AIDs in this province?

Did you know that B.C. spends over $100-million each year to fight AIDS?

I was also surprised to read that the Ministry of Health here provides $2.8 million in operating funds each year for the Centre of Excellence in HIV/AIDS, a world leader in research and treatment.

Nationally, a total of 60,160 positive AIDS cases have been reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada from Nov. 1985 to Dec. 31, 2005. About 2500 new cases are reported each year. Women accounted for one-quarter of positive HIV test reports (25.4 percent) in 2005.

The more information I read about AIDS, the more I began to realize the complacency that so many Canadians, including myself have had about this disease and the need for all of us to become better educated.

There are 11,000 new HIV infections and over 7,500 deaths “daily” due to AIDS.

“Many people can be HIV positive for up to seven or eight years before they will find out, just because they have not gotten tested,” said one man, who has already said good-bye to his children.

The ‘bird flu’ at the moment, is not real. But there is a world-wide pandemic that is affecting millions of people world-wide and many Canadians and their families right here in B.C. daily.

I don’t want to lose any of my children or loved ones to this ‘real’ pandemic and I know that thousands of people have done so already.

I think it’s time I stopped and paid attention.

© Copyright 2006 100 Mile House Free Press

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This page contains a single entry by ID Admin published on December 7, 2006 2:51 PM.

Local Man Raises AIDS Awareness was the previous entry in this blog.

Diabetes summit: Alarm raised about Aids drug is the next entry in this blog.

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