December 1st marks World AIDS Day, an observance dedicated to raising awareness about the spread of the AIDS pandemic. Almost thirty years of this disease has killed about 25 million people worldwide.
And, without a doubt, the day is dedicated to EDUCATION about a disease that has devastated many. We are definitely not in an era where this disease is stereotypically attached to groups of people. The disease has done an endless amount of harm. This harm is not just in terms of health. Families have been torn apart by deaths. Treatment has been costly. Stereotypes about the disease have created pariahs – for instance, the disease as being “homosexual.” Luckily for us, these stereotypes have been diffused for the most part.
But this day is a valuable one. Even if one is indifferent about AIDS, this day has to make them think about their own mortality. Selfishly, I thought about my own and am glad I have been safe from this disease. I say “selfishly” because many with the disease still suffer. Many have died.
Lastly, this day wants to promote a safe lifestyle. Take necessary precautions. Have a continuing conversation with loved ones. If we can learn anything about AIDS, is that we need to stay safe.
Halifax Regional Council and Mayor Kelly did something that Haligonia should appreciate. They announced the proclamation of not just World AIDS DAy, but also Aboriginal AIDS Awareness WEEK! That’s amazing. For someone who is not Aboriginal, this is a great chance to continue to educate the public about the many dimensions of the AIDS pandemic.
Let’s keep AIDS awareness fresh on our minds, Haligonia.
For more information about World AIDS Day, Aboriginal AIDS awareness Week and much more, check out these sites:
– Perry King