Monday, December 1, 2008

World HIV/AIDS Day

Today is World HIV/AIDS Day and I am honored to give my take on it.
HIV AIDS is still a mystery as to its origin. One thing I know is that there is a theory out there implying that HIV originated from Haitians and in my opinion and I am not a scientist or specialist in this matter) this is as far from the truth as the death of the sea. We have been victimized. I have to make this clear and throughout my posts you can see that I am not the kind of person who will sit and cry foul all the time as a matter of fact, I encourage people not to be a victim but to overcome their situation, which is why I congratulate President (elect) Barack Obama for his achievement. At the same time I cannot ignore that we, specially Haitians are sometimes not being taken at our face value. We are a third world country with a lot of political and social problem but we are still human with feeling and pride. We kids, adults, mothers, fathers, care givers and citizens as any other nations. People need to stop claiming that we have originated this disease! I think that it is unfortunate and racist!

Now, let me be clear on that! I do recognize that HIV is a major problem in Haiti and as a matter of fact, I will post below the statistics I have been able to find about it. We all have to fight it together. Learn about it and how to protect yourself from it. Not all people with AIDS were/are promiscuous for example I know about a case of a baby in Haiti who contracted AIDS not through her mother but another person breastfeeding him since the birth mother could not produce milk.
A lot is being done in Haiti to educate people about HIV Virus but a lot more need to be done. Churches are talking more about it, schools debate the subject and there are a lot of institutions targeting young people by making them aware of the virus. We still have more to do but all of us have to be in it together!
AIDS for me is a virus that needs to be fought collectively pointing finger at one particular nation is not going to solve the dilemma rather hide it deeper. It is all over though more prominent in some countries.

Aids can be prevented by abstinence, the use of protection during sexual intercourse, i.e condoms, it can also be contracted through blood contact. So make sure you have gloves when you are helping a bleeding person. In other words, you can get AIDS by:
• blood transfusions ( not very common anymore).
• being born with it.
• having unprotected sex with someone who has AIDS.
• finding a used needle on the ground, picking it up, and getting the infected blood into an open wound.
• getting blood from someone else's cut who has AIDS, into yours.

I am a church goer and would rather encourage abstinence and fidelity for couples but the truth is there are people out there who are sexually active anyway with multiple partners in this case I encourage them to use protection. They need to know that they are taking risks and HIV does not discriminate! Church all over the world need to get mere involve in fighting AIDS. We tend to discriminate against people with HIV. We just have in our mind that they are sinners! You are right they are sinners but about you? Did you know that if God was judging us by our sins there would not have been any of us left on earth. Some people with HIV might get it through helping another person. We have to help them, love them and pray for them. We are all sinners, no matter what we sins we have committed but our God is synonym of love, patience, understanding and moreover he is a God of forgiveness!

There are millions of kids with HIV they do not know anything! Most of them are innocent babies! Look at these stats:
Vital statistics on children and AIDS
Click here to see vital statistics on children and AIDS

Vital statistics on children and AIDS

- Of the estimated 2.8 million people killed by HIV and AIDS in 2005, around half a million were children aged below 15 years.

- At the end of 2005, an estimated 2.3 million children globally were living with HIV.

- During 2005, an estimated 700,000 children around the world were newly infected with HIV.


- Of the estimated 2.8 million people killed by HIV and AIDS in 2005, around half a million were children aged below 15 years.

- At the end of 2005, an estimated 2.3 million children globally were living with HIV.

- During 2005, an estimated 700,000 children around the world were newly infected with HIV.

- Every minute of every day, a child under the age of 15 becomes infected with HIV.

- AIDS is now the biggest single cause of death among the under 5s,

- Nearly 80 percent of new child HIV infections occur in sub-Saharan Africa, but the number of such infections is increasing in other areas, particularly Asia.

- Almost nine out of ten children (younger than 15 years) living with HIV are in sub-Saharan Africa. About 43% (around 860,000) of all children under 15 years of age living with HIV are in southern Africa.

- In Asia, an estimated 180,000 children are living with HIV.

- In Africa, more than one in three newborns infected with HIV die before the age of one, over half die before reaching their second birthday, and most are dead before they are five years old.

- Less than 8 per cent of HIV-positive children have access to any kind of treatment.

- One widely available drug, cotrimoxazole, can nearly halve child deaths from HIV/AIDS. The drug costs as little as three U.S. cents a day. But only 1 percent of children who need it have access to it.

- The overwhelming majority of children under 15 who are HIV-positive got infected through their mothers. But less than 10 percent of pregnant women are offered services to stop the spread of HIV to their babies.

- Less than 10 percent of children orphaned and made vulnerable by AIDS are receiving some kind of public support.

- By 2005, 15.2 million children around the world had lost one parent or both to AIDS. An estimated 20.2 million children will have lost one or both parents by 2010 with 15.7 million children orphaned by AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa.

source: Global Movement for Children

Below is the stats I have been able to find for Haiti. Let’s get together and help fight AIDS but using the best weapon we have which is knowledge and not wasting our time pointing fingers instead of spending it doing an impartial research.

HIV/AIDS in Haiti
8,706,497: population of Haiti (2007 est.)

110,000: Estimated number of people living with HIV/AIDS by the end of 2007
2.2%: Estimated percentage of adults (ages 15-49) living with HIV/AIDS by the end of 2007
53%: Estimated percentage of HIV cases that occured among women (ages 15-49) by the end of 2007
6,800: Estimated number of children (ages 0-15) living with HIV/AIDS by the end of 2007
7,500: Estimated number of deaths due to AIDS during 2007
• UNAIDS 2008 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic. July 2008.

As you can see it is more prominent in third world countries just because it is more difficult to reach people over there through the common media such as TV, Radio and literature. More funds should be made available for people to go in these areas and talk to people either by group or one on one. If you have no electricity how are going to watch TV or listen to radio, if you can't feed your children are you going to to think about buying batteries and some remote places you can even get a radio signal and don't even mention the use of pamphlet because unfortunately illiteracy is very high in third world countries. On of the best way to reach to this people is through one on one or groups contact! If you know any organization working to help fight Aids please help them fund these projects or just become a volunteer. I know UNICEF, USAID, Red Cross, some local organizations as well and many more are doing a great job on this matter out there. Let’s get together and help fight AIDS but using the best weapon we have which is knowledge and not wasting our time pointing fingers instead of spending it doing an impartial research.

Unity brings power!

God bless!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Sam,

    I just came across your blog while I was doing some research on Haiti. I really liked you article about AIDS and think it is very informative.
    I am currently a student and doing an internship with a DC based non-profit organization called International Action. We install water treatment systems in Haiti and more specifically in the region of Port-au-Prince.
    You certainly know that the water situation in Haiti is disastrous and I thought that maybe you could write an article about the water problem in Haiti.
    We with International Action, provide more than 400,000 people in Haiti with clean, safe water thanks to our innovative chlorinators. These are simple PVC systems, simple to install, use and maintain. It's an excellent system for the developing world!
    I am very excited about doing an intermship with such an organization and I am sure you will be interested in this.

    The link to their website is ou will love it!

    Please let me know if you are interested in writing something about International Action.

    Again, you are doing a great job of informing people about the situation in Haiti. Thank you!



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