Tuesday 30 November 2010


“I am the inferior of any man whose rights I trample underfoot.” - Horace Greeley

It is World AIDS Day today so I hope you all wore your red ribbon on your lapel! The red ribbon is an international symbol of AIDS awareness that is worn by people all year round but especially so around World AIDS Day to demonstrate care and concern about HIV and AIDS, and to remind others of the need for their support and commitment.

The AIDS commemorative Day was started on 1st December 1988 and is about raising money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. This year the World AIDS Day theme is “Universal Access and Human Rights”. It is important to remember on this day that HIV has not disappeared, and that there are many things still to be done around the world, but more so in developing countries.

UNAIDS estimates that there are now 33.3 million people living with HIV, including 2.5 million children. During 2009 some 2.6 million people became newly infected with the virus and an estimated 1.8 million people died from AIDS. Most of people with HIV and AIDS live in lower and middle-income countries.

The struggle for human rights is fundamental to combatting the global HIV and AIDS epidemic. Violations against human rights help the spread of HIV by putting marginalised groups (e.g. injecting drug users and sex workers), at a higher risk of HIV infection. By promoting individual human rights, new infections can be prevented and people who have HIV can live free from discrimination. World AIDS Day gives all of us (individuals, communities and political leaders) to take action and ensure that human rights are protected and global targets for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care are met.

As it is also Poetry Wednesday today, here is a poem about AIDS:

I Still
By Gene Valentine
July 2004

I still ...
miss you even if you don't miss me.
think of you even if you don't think of me.
wonder whether you were really my special friend or just
another man playing pretend?

I won't believe that it was a lie, that all the love,
passion, lust, tears,
laughter, & joy you gave me were untrue but where are you
now? I'm still here
waiting, wondering where you've been & do you still call
yourself my friend?

I still ...
question if you really cared when I became sick & if so,
why were we over so quick?
need you to hold me & tell me how you'll be there 'til
the end.
long to hear your voice again.

It's been 333 days & 999 pills. The virus is at bay now,
but like all enemies
I know that it's lurking in the shadows of my t-cells.
I wonder did this virus touch you too? & if so what will
you do?

Did the meds make you sick? Did you take as many pills as
I or was it 999x3?
I wonder did you sleep well or were you in my same hell?

I still ...
miss you even if you don't miss me.
think of you even if you don't think of me.
want you to be my friend even if you can't make love to me again.
I still... I still... I still...

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