That’s what happened to me when I woke up this morning. I had to get up at 6am because a repair man will be here between 8:30am and 9am. The reason I was awaken at 6 was because that is the time everyone else was leaving, and had they not waken me up, I wouldn’t have gotten up at all. Well, after having a large cup of coffee (the best cup I may have ever made actually) I checked my email to find one from the Converse website. It turns out today is World AIDS day, and they were marketing their “Red products”. I personally never knew what the whole (RED) thing was about, so I looked them up. It is a project that works with iconic brands (such as Nike, Converse, Apple, etc.) selling red colored or red accented items. A portion of the profit (“up to 50%”) made from these sales goes to the Global Fund to invest in HIV and AIDS programs in Africa. This was a little motivating to me. It definitely “inspi(red)” me to purchase things of that nature. On the “JoinRed” website (a link I will post at the end of this blog), they said that last year, nearly ½million babies were born last year with HIV. The main goal right now is to “halt and reverse the spread” of this epidemic by 2015. I support this completely. Here are some facts posted by the Global Health Council on the subject of HIV/AIDS:
Over the past 27 years, nearly 25 million people have died from AIDS.1 HIV/AIDS causes debilitating illness and premature death in people during their prime years of life and has devastated families and communities. Further, HIV/AIDS has complicated efforts to fight poverty, improve health, and promote development by:
Diminishing a person’s ability to support, work and provide for his or her family. At the same time, treatment and health-care costs related to HIV/AIDS consume household incomes. The combined effect of reduced income and increased costs impoverishes individuals and households.
Deepening socioeconomic and gender disparities. Women are at high risk of infection and have few options for providing for their families. Children affected by HIV/AIDS, due to their own infection or parental illness or death, are less likely to receive an education, as they leave school to care for ailing parents and younger siblings.
Straining the resources of communities – hospitals, social services, schools and businesses. Health care workers, teachers, and business and government leaders have been lost to HIV/AIDS. The impact of diminished productivity is felt on a national scale.
Through unprecedented global attention and intervention efforts, the rate of new HIV infections has slowed and prevalence rates have leveled off globally and in many regions. Despite the progress seen in some countries and regions, the total number of people living with HIV continues to rise.
In 2008, globally, about 2 million people died of AIDS, 33.4 million were living with HIV and 2.7 million people were newly infected with the virus.
HIV infections and AIDS deaths are unevenly distributed geographically and the nature of the epidemics vary by region. Epidemics are abating in some countries and burgeoning in others. More than 90 percent of people with HIV are living in the developing world.
There is growing recognition that the virus does not discriminate by age, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status – everyone is susceptible. However, certain groups are at particular risk of HIV, including men who have sex with men (MSM), injecting drug users (IDUs), and commercial sex workers (CSWs).
The impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls has been particularly devastating. Women and girls now comprise 50 percent of those aged 15 and older living with HIV.
The impact of HIV/AIDS on children and young people is a severe and growing problem. In 2008, 430,000 children under age 15 were infected with HIV and 280,000 died of AIDS.1, 4 In addition, about 15 million children have lost one or both parents due to the disease.
There are effective prevention and treatment interventions, as well as research efforts to develop new approaches, medications and vaccines.
The sixth Millennium Development Goal (MDG) focuses on stopping and reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015.
Global funding is increasing, but global need is growing even faster – widening the funding gap. Services and funding are disproportionately available in developed countries.
P.S.: Yes, my page is red today in recognition of World Aids Day.