World AIDS Day is Dec. 1, and nearly 80 cities and their landmarks are being turned “red,” including the Sydney Opera House, thanks to U2’s Bono. Twitter and Facebook invite everyone to “JoinRed” and turn your Facebook profile page red. Other celebrities are taking a Twitter-free day to raise money for Alicia Keys’ charity Keep a Child Alive. If you want your favorite celebrities to use Twitter sometime on Dec. 1, MTV reports you will have to donate $10 in their name. Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, Usher and Justin Timerlake are participating, just to name a few. Their goal is $1 million.
AOL News reports AIDS has been a problem since it was first discovered 30 years ago. Although there is no cure, there are hopes to eventually develop a vaccine and funding for preventative measures is always ongoing. HIV and AIDS have changed the world in so many ways for everyone from celebrities to everyday people. Here’s a look at what the struggle against AIDS has done to the human race over the past 30 years.
If nothing else, AIDS has made us a more globally aware society. While HIV has subsided in the United States and Europe, Asia and Africa still have major problems with controlling the disease. In Africa alone, UNICEF estimates over 1,000 babies are born each day with HIV. Struggling economies are finding it hard to keep up.
An estimated 33.3 million people worldwide have AIDS in 2009, as compared to 26.2 million a decade earlier. The Global Fund wants to eliminate the transmission of the virus from mothers to unborn children by 2015.
AIDS brings home the fact that not all countries have modern medicine, education and preventative measures to stop the epidemic. As many charities there are combating the problem, governments in African nations need to be stable and cognizant of the problem before it gets worse.
Modern medicine does give us hope. WebMD reports on a recent study which found antibodies that destroy 91 percent of HIV strains. The National Institutes of Health say the study is “proof” a vaccine can be developed. There are several trials currently running to find a vaccine in other ways.
While there is no cure for AIDS at the moment, over 25 medications are approved by the FDA in the United States, according to WebMD. Many of them boost the immune system to help fight off secondary infections. Unfortunately for many people in undeveloped nations, these drugs are too expensive.
Many believe what is needed most in places such as Africa is prevention. Teaching women proper birth control methods and taking steps to prevent the transmission of STDs is believed to be the best way to fight the spread of AIDS on a global scale.
On World AIDS Day, remember those who have died. If you can, give to your favorite charity which responds to the AIDS epidemic. Most importantly, educate your loved ones about the dangers of catching HIV and what it can mean for their health.
Semigran, Aly, “Kim Kardashian Prepares To Turn Off Twitter, Nina Dobrev Drops ‘TVD’ Hints In Today’s Tweet Dreams,” MTV.com.
Thier, David, “World AIDS Day Question: How Close Are We to a Cure?” AOL News.
DeNoon, Daniel J. “Discovery May Pave Way to AIDS Vaccine,” WebMD.com.
WebMD, “Expanding HIV and AIDS Drug Options.”