World AIDS Days 2009
- An estimated 33.4 million people [31.1 million–35.8 million] were living with HIV in 2008. Consist of 31.3 million adults [29.2 million–33.7 million], 15.7 million women[14.2 million–17.2 million] and 2.1 million children under 15 years [1.2 million–2.9 million]
- There were 2.7 million [2.4 – 3 million] new HIV infections, consist of 2.3 million adults [2.0 million–2.5 million] and 430.000 children under 15 years [240.000–610.000]
- 2 million [1.7 – 2.4 million] AIDS-related deaths last year, which consist of 1.7 million adults [1.4 million–2.1 million] and 280.000 children under 15 years [150.000–410.000]
source from UNAIDS Report (in PDF)
My first encounter with HIV/AIDS is during my high school years in early nineties. One of the first victim of this disease, was died and there’s some controversy regarding some people who refuse the deceased to be buried in a local cemetery. That controversy raised my curiosity at that time, and I began to look for information about this disease.
The most important thing I’ve found that days is, aside from the information regarding the disease itself, we most of the time will find it easier to believe on some unfounded myth and nonsense instead of look for the real answer. And we’re often based our judgment and action based on that unfounded myth.
This traits is not only occurred to common people like you and me, it’s happened to almost every walk of life. Even to those who work in health sector that supposed to be more knowledgeable in regards of this issue. Just look at those stories how people with HIV/AIDS often being denied their right to get their health service in many hospitals and doctors.
And for me the most devastating and despicable thing that can be happened is when this traits occurred to the so called religious leader. Mark this carefully for I am not pointing at one certain religion here. This happened to any religion, for I suspect it’s hard for those religious leader to avoid involving this disease with the morality, especially due to the fact that one transmission methods of HIV/AIDS is by sexual intercourse. We’ve seen and I believe today we again will see how those so called religious leader condemning the use of condom as a methods of prevention despite the fact that condom has been proven as the most simpler methods to prevent HIV/AIDS when sexual intercourse is unavoidable.
Such act, in my personal opinion should be classified as a crime against humanity. Yes you may accused me of dramatizing this, but when you consider how many people followed the words of this so called religious leader, I believe you will agree with me.
World AIDS Day
But then enough about my story. Today, the same day last year, we are exclaiming our solidarity with the 33,4 million people who already infected by HIV/AIDS and conveys our condolence to the 2 million other who already dies from this disease.
The message of World AIDS Day 2009 is Universal Access and Human Right. And I believe at the bottom line, this is what we should give our best effort for. the universal access to the truth about HIV/AIDS, along with the universal access for treatment for those who already infected by this disease.
I do believe that this is the real challenge that we must face today, the real challenge for our humanity. On what do we put our priorities, petty morality or human lives. Me, I put my vote on human lives for I believe that every life is precious regardless of the petty morality. How about you?