Globally there are now more than 39.5 million people with HIV. Over the years, millions upon millions of dollars have been spent talking about HIV. The United Nations signed a Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS in 2001, but much of it is still unfulfilled. The World Health Organization launched its "3 by 5" (three million people receiving free HIV treatment by the end of 2005) program with great fanfare, but three million is still a long, long way away.
While the world talked in 2006, another 2.9 million people in the world died from AIDS. Only approximately one-quarter of the estimated 4.6 million adults in need of HIV treatment in Africa are receiving it. Only one in 20 children in the developing world who need it receives HIV medications. And here in the United States, three people in South Carolina died because they were on a waiting list to receive free HIV medications. More than 300 people in the U.S. remain on waiting lists.
Enough talk. It's time to do. How can you help? First and foremost, remember that the fight against HIV begins at home, no matter where your home may be. Stigma still affects people with HIV everywhere in the world, and there's no better way to make a difference than by doing something where you live -- in your community, school, religious institution, social group, anywhere and everywhere. Whatever you can do to make people more aware of HIV -- to make people give their time, their money or their minds to the fight against HIV -- will help make a difference. The media and our politicians may occasionally pay lip service, but precious few people truly advocate for people living with HIV around the world. Become one of them.
This article was provided by The Body.