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Dec. 1 World AIDS Day



UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan declared AIDS “the greatest challenge of our generation

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan declared AIDS “the greatest challenge of our generation.”

It is a challenge because there is no cure for AIDS. But it is also a challenge because we have the resources and potential to prevent deaths and possibly eradicate AIDS, but our concern has yet to surface. If we don’t have it, then it is not our problem. That seems to be most people’s reactions for lack of action.

Developed countries have access to treatment that can ease the pain, drugs that can prevent an HIV-infected woman from passing the infection to her unborn child and health care that allows mothers to give their babies proper nutrition because AIDS prevents them from breastfeeding.

People in Africa have no such luck. Only 10% of women infected have access to health care. In 2005, two million people died from AIDS in Africa which resulted in 12 million orphans, according to AVERT organization.

Annan holds world leaders accountable for change: to strengthen protection for the weak, work with society for positive change and to declare “AIDS stops with me.” Annan also commended all of us to work for change. There is not a cure for AIDS yet, but there are ways to prevent it.

We can raise funds for organizations such as National AIDS Trust and Product Red campaign. The latter considers itself a business model where consumers can purchase everyday items with part of the proceeds go to the Global Fund. Annan is among the world leaders that support and helped establish The Global Fund in 2002. Its purpose is to rid the world of AIDS by raising funds and giving grants to countries in need.

We can volunteer for local HIV/AIDS organizations. The Delta Sigma Theta sorority is hosting a World AIDS Day program Dec. 12 in various locations on campus. The event will include an AIDS testing station and “Know Your Status” T-shirts for sale. Funds will go toward an AIDS research center.

Tiffini Quaker, vice president of Delta Sigma Theta and a senior electrical engineering major, said her sorority has been a supporter of AIDS awareness and prevention on a national level so they wanted to bring one of their sorority’s national programs to a local level.

“This is our first year doing this and we plan to make it a big event,” Quaker said. “We want to continue to do it every year.” 

We can fight against discrimination and prejudice. HIV discrimination is illegal, but a third of people infected with HIV have been discriminated due to ignorance, according to the National AIDS Trust.

We can raise awareness by educating people. By informing people about AIDS, the amount of infected people may decrease and discrimination against people infected may be reduced. Purchasing a $3 T-shirt or wearing a red ribbon may seem like an insignificant contribution, but there could be millions of people making the same small efforts.


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