cocktails that slow down the virus’
progression—but no matter how
you look at it, when someone is
diagnosed with HIV, it’s still a
death sentence for many.
As we approach World AIDS
Day, it’s my hope that our new
president seriously meets the
demands required of AIDS research
FACTS AND FIGURES
DAY AND THE
World AIDS Day was
first marked in 1988 to
of the worldwide AIDS
crisis. Each year on
Dec. 1, nations across
the globe have various
ways of commemorating
the day. In the United
States, it is customary
for the president to
make note of the day
through a presidential
and finding a cure. Considering that
in this country alone, 22,000 new
cases of HIV are reported each year,
the need for beefed-up research has
never been clearer.
One person dying from HIV/
AIDS each year is too many. I had to
watch two loved ones die from it.
It will be a beautiful day when
no one will ever have to worry
about dying from or watching
someone die from HIV/AIDS,
when there is a cure for those
already diagnosed and a vaccination to prevent the further spread
of this devastating disease.
I’ll tell you what, though: I’m
not holding my breath.
The statistics about the virus are staggering. An estimated 25
million people have died from AIDS-related complications, while
nearly 39 million are currently living with HIV or AIDS. There are
numerous theories as to how HIV and AIDS came to be—some
scientific, others theoretic.
The scientific community recently released a study that indicated that AIDS probably entered the United States in 1969. It
likely began in Africa and made its way to Haiti. It wasn’t until
1982 that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
began to classify the virus.
At first, it was widely believed that the virus was spread through
what was called the 4-H: homosexuals, Haitians, hemophiliacs and
heroin users. However, it was soon discovered that the virus could
be transmitted in a number of other ways.
AIDS was once a sure death sentence, but thanks to incredible medical advances, those living with the virus can lead
normal, productive lives so long as they’re properly treated
However—and this is something World AIDS Day looks to expose—many people who have the virus, especially in developing
nations, can’t afford to pay for the medication needed to control
the virus from worsening.
And while it is widely known how the virus is spread, there is
still a certain stigma associated with the virus, both in people
who think they can get it in ways that it’s impossible to get
it and in people who have the virus who don’t want others—
including doctors—to know.