December First was the World AIDS Day. In addition, we celebrated 25 years of killing disease, a sad anniversary. What we read in the newspapers or watch in the news about AIDS is not very encouraging; neither gives us hope of having the horror under control. UN confirms that around 65 millions of persons live with HIV. They say also that in 2006, more than 4.3 million of new infected victims increased the statistic around the world.
We watch in TV hurtful pictures of sick people, and as we do with pictures of war, or hunger, we change channel, or we look feeling less and less fair and concern. Because more and more the HIV victims belong to the most poor layers of the society. FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization, denounce that AIDS is growing strongly in rural areas in many African countries. The populations of countries that are developing their economy are being shortened by the HIV progress. Medication and information for prevention is not present in these rural countries, so many people in working age is dying. This is slowing back a lot the development of many nations, and poverty and hunger increase there. So, more and more the concept of poverty is being related to HIV, adding another stigma to the ones that already make the disease so hard to cope with. Still many people think that AIDS is a disease exclusive of promiscuous persons, drug addicts or homosexuals. Now, they also think is a plague to reduce the number of poor people, the same ones that maybe will be soon at our doors asking for help or work, like the feared illegal immigrants. We assist to an increase of the distance between our lives and the ones of the infected by HIV, and this became something that cannot happen to us. The lack of information and restrictive religious believes are not helping in the fight against AIDS. Only if we are able to communicate and talk about sexual practices and protection we can learn ways to prevent the disease.
In 2000, as part of the Millennium Development Goals, the heads of many countries made a promise: by 2015, we will halt and begin to reverse the spread of AIDS. However, numbers are overwhelming: Since 1981 over than 25 million people had died with HIV, and 2.9 million had died in 2006 alone. The 2000 promise fell completely. One of the reasons of that is, like always, the cost of the medications and the difficulty of access to them by the middle and low-income countries. Organizations as World AIDS Campaign denounces that it is not new money being used to give medications to developing countries or even in our own ones. The money used for that is shifted from budgets for other diseases treatments, and that is not helping, because AIDS has many different diseases related to it. UNAIDS calculates that will be necessary around of 20 or 23 billion of dollars by 2010 to support the relief of the increase of the infection.
AIDS only can be eradicated if all of us start to see the disease as something that threats everybody, each one of us, and we provide information and ways to prevent it.