Author: M. G.
Georgia Arnold, Executive Director of the Staying Alive Foundation, wrote a very interesting piece in the Huffington Post on the occasion of World AIDS Day 2013.
The main core of the article is that we are rejoicing so much for our accomplishments in the stop of the epidemic right now, while in fact the HIV/AIDS issue is far from being solved. Editor of The Lancet Richard Hurton says: "Go to parts of Africa and see for yourself if the end of AIDS is anywhere in sight. It is not and to suggest that it might be is to imply, incorrectly, that the era of AIDS is drawing to a close. If we even suggest that the end of AIDS is within reach, we will give politicians an excuse to be complacent -- to stop investing in AIDS research, HIV treatment and prevention programmes" Yes, it's all about politics and money. Surprise surprise!
International funding for HIV/AIDS is at the same level of 2008 - when the economic crisis started - and I was also pretty shocked in reading that two-thirds of investments in HIV/AIDS worldwide are coming only from the USA. Wow, really? Where's Europe? And moreover, where are the other economical super powers? China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, the Arab countries and so on...
These are countries where the economies are rising very fast and they are going to be the economical powers in the near future. There is no point in saying that AIDS is not a priority where life conditions are not yet the same as in western countries: HIV and AIDS are already affecting the lives of many people there and if there isn't an effort to change the situation now, it's going to get worse in the future. The fight against HIV/AIDS is a responsibility that, soon or later, everybody will have to accept, otherwise we are going to celebrate many other World AIDS Days in the future, always telling the same old stories.
This is even more true if you think that young people are the most affected by new HIV infections. Within the 6,000 new HIV infections happening every day, almost 2,500 occur among young people (12-24). We are going to deal with AIDS in our near future -and later on too. We should also consider that, even though there are treatments and improved life conditions for HIV+ individuals, we can't even assure that all the new seropositive people are going to survive the disease, let alone stay in good health for the rest of their lives. This is tragic to admit, but it's the plain and simple truth.
DAA's hope is the same as Georgia Arnold's: "There are over a 1.6 billion people between the ages of 12 and 24 years in the world today; if we can mobilise them in the fight against HIV, then we really do have an opportunity to turn the tide of this epidemic once and for all."
We'll work on it, you can be sure of that!