30 November 2005

I am disappointed

I must admit, I have been purposefully been not-blogging because I was hoping to hear some feedback/opinions on my last post. Seeing as how the mainstream media all but manages to ignore the continuing AIDS epidemic globally and regionally, I was hoping to spark some form of thought in my generally shy and quiet audience.

Here's the thing. I wasn't talking about some guy who was waving a gun around wildly and it accidentally went off and two people died. This isn't that kind of murder. This is a guy who allegedly infected people -- women -- on purpose, maliciously. And from the audience:


Right, so here's a little education session on behalf of avert.org:

  • An estimated 40.3 million people WORLDWIDE are infected with HIV/AIDS.
  • To November 2005, there are 4.9 million new infections this year.
  • To date, 3.1 million people have died of AIDS in 2005.
  • More than 25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981.
  • By December 2005 women accounted for 46% of all adults living with HIV worldwide.
  • More than 6,000 young people (15-24 years old) become infected with HIV every day.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa, and South and South-East Asia lead the way in new infections this year with 25.8 million and 7.4 million respectively, to date.
  • Africa has 12 million AIDS orphans. Maybe I'll write that one out: 12,000,000
  • Of the 6.5 million people in developing and transitional countries who need life-saving AIDS drugs, only 1 million are receiving them.
  • In Canada, females accounted for 7% of AIDS cases reported with known gender in the period 1979-94; in 2004 that proportion was 21%.
  • The provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec account for 85% of the population of Canada and for 95% of the nation's AIDS diagnoses.
It's true, we're no longer living in that "everyone will know someone who dies of AIDS" world that was the prevalent message in the late-80s/early 90s. But it's still a huge problem and there is still NO cure. Antiretrovirals are great at allowing people to live with these diseases, but they are still subject to costly and sometimes nauseating drug cocktails.

So, to think that someone may have infected people on purpose, is a pretty upsetting event. I'm actually sad that people didn't seem to have anything to say about this, other than a couple of people privately commenting that they'd "write something later", which is why I waited to post again.

I think I'm going to put my trivial "recently in my life" post on hold for a bit and just let the AIDS thing sink in. Because if you haven't thought about it recently, it's about time you did.

And if you think you know so much about it, congratulations. Prove it.


Gary Freedman said...

Get the word out on the AIDS crisis!

Tricky said...

Women and aids 9/10
Harder quiz 9/10
General 10/10

I know nothing about stats, so I didn’t bother, and all I really know about world aids day is when it is.

With this subject, I don’t feel like I can say anything substantial about it besides ‘it’s real shitty’.

haitch pee said...

General: 9/10
Women and Aids: 10/10
I too am crap at Stats.
Does this qualify me to comment on your post?
I think that if you want a forum to discuss these issues and feel like you are contributing to awareness-raising, you should hunt around for an NGO, a local sex-ed program, or something that needs passionate, free labour. I think that people are reluctant to comment on things as controversial as charging this man with first degree murder, though personally, if it can be "proved" that he intended to pass on the virus, throw the dude in jail for the maximum sentance. On the other hand, there's no guarantee that he won't end up spreading AIDS in the prison system, from what I understand. But hey, what do we care about them damn crimmies anyway, right?
I digress.
(And spell badly)
My point is that if you are disappointed with a lack of engagement, maybe this is something you should take up and find (alternative) ways of educating people about it... who knows, maybe there's even an "event" in it for you :)

Jenni said...

I have to agree with tricky. I am not sure what to say about it, other than, "Holy crap, that is scary." Though I do not think it is that uncommon. There is a girl I went to highschool with who got Herpes from a boyfriend and then seeked her revenge by having unprotected sex with people she picked up at bars.

I think this is awlful. I do not agree with people knowingly putting people at risk, but what about the people who did not know? It is a blurry line.

Branflakes said...

I make it a habit to never disagree with women who are my friends and smarter than me (Jenni and Tricky).

I scored abysmally on the AIDs quiz (6/10 on both the main quiz and the 'harder' quiz), though I didn't particularly think they were good questions (like 'When is AIDS day?', 'how big is the HIV microbe?', 'where is AVERT located?'). Lots of the questions were good, and the quiz is nonetheless a good exercise.

AIDS scares the hell out of me, but I still don't know what to do about it.

Dr_Weezie said...

I, too, read the posts. More than once. I felt I had nothing to contribute, though, just because my usual feeling about anything AIDS-related is helplessness ... which doesn't make for interesting reading! I did find something potentially exciting, though:


I hope it's true!

haitch pee said...

PS: I read a wonderful stat in one of the free English weeklies up here last night: Quebec has now cut back all funding for sex ed in public schools at a time when fully 50% of Quebec teens think that AIDS is CURABLE!!!!!
I can only hope this stat is horribly inflated by poor collection methods, as it defies my ideas of what is common sense knowledge "in this day and age" (give me a cane and I will gladly shake it at you).