Today is World AIDS Day. Stop AIDS. Keep The Promise. We are all accountable. AIDS continues to spread across the globe. 65 million people in the world have been infected with HIV. Over 25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981. 2.9 million people have died in 2006. The World Health Organization predicts that another 117 million people will die in the next 25 years.
But you don’t want to hear about numbers, do you? It’s someone else’s job to stop AIDS, right? In part, yes. We must hold our world leaders accountable for the promises that they made to reverse the spread of AIDS by 2015. Our world leaders aren’t the only ones accountable. We all are. We can do our part by not only holding our leaders accountable, but by being leaders ourselves. We can talk to our friends and loved ones about AIDS, and make sure they’re getting tested and know how to have safe sex. We can stop being afraid to talk about sex, safe sex, and how to be responsible. We can love and value ourselves enough to be tested regularly for HIV. We can stop stigmatizing AIDS as a gay disease, a “junkie” disease, a whore’s disease, or a ghetto disease, and realize that diseases don’t have the human ability to be prejudiced, or to discriminate.
I’m accountable. I’ll continue to talk about HIV/AIDS with my friends, my family, and the people I love. I’ll continue to write about HIV and AIDS. I’ll continue to value my life and respect my sexual partners by having safe sex. Not that I’ve HAD sex in the last five years, but hey—abstinence is a form of safe sex, too!
UNAIDS currently estimates that there are 950,000 people who are HIV+ in the USA, and that 30% of those people don’t know it and may unknowingly infect their partners as a result. I plan on getting an HIV test today. What are you going to do?