Today is is World AIDS Day and Bloggers Unite once again across the globe to focus attention on this issue. This is truly a millennium challenge for the planet, 6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Fellow Blogger Unite of the blog Leftorium, il blog Riformista provided the synopsis below which clearly demonstrates the global impact of this disease.
Today there are about 33 million people living with AIDS worldwide. This virus affects both the more developed countries and those in developing countries. This virus affects both the more developed countries and those in developing countries. In the latter, however, are not available in any way, the expensive treatments and therapies used in richer countries. In the latter, however, are not available in any way, the expensive treatments and therapies used in richer countries. This is why the mortality rate is not only very high but, in fact, increases every year that passes. This is why the mortality rate is not only very high but, in fact, increases every year that passes. AIDS is now considered a real pandemic in Africa, India and South-East Asia. AIDS is now considered a real pandemic in Africa, India and South-East Asia.[translated from Italian by Google Translator]
All posts on this blog are explorations in learning, there isn't any claim to expertise or knowledge. These posts will explore current trends in this area using the resources made available by this blogsite. TED is one resource for inspiration, sometimes through poetry, sometimes through shock, sometimes both. Leftorium correctly describes the problem in one sense, but Kristen Asburn in the TED video does so in a far more poignant sense giving us a sense of what we trying to overcome.
In this moving talk from TED, documentary photographer Kristen Ashburn shares unforgettable images of the human impact of AIDS in Africa. (Recorded February 2003 in Monterey, California. Duration: 4:36.)
It is important to remember that for much of the developing world, AIDS is only one threat and often, such as AIDS and tuberculosis, they can strike together. So what is being done about on a global basis? Not enough according to EurActiv.com on 11/14/08, which reported on the story EU urged to fund research on 'terrible triangle' of disease. According to the story, the European Commission is failing to pay its "fair share" in funding research into the main poverty-related killers HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, according to health NGOs.
Speaking at a conference on poverty-related diseases on 13 November, EU Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik acknowledged that "sitting in our comfortable European homes, with well-developed healthcare systems, it is all too easy to forget about the pernicious impact that infectious disease has across the world".
This is one area where one needs to credit the United States and George Bush for actually having made some improvement, while still remembering that America has not met its Millennium Devleopment Goal promises yet.
The problem doesn't stop with governments not doing enough. Pharmaceutical companies are also not stepping up in many cases as this Oxfam report and video below demonstrate.
Oxfam, an international NGO, deplored that "after years of scientific progress, still less than 10% of all medical research is being dedicated to diseases afflicting more than 90% of the world's population". "R&D that focuses on the developing world's urgent needs is still highly dependent and driven by intellectual property, even though this system is demonstrably failing the poor," noted Oxfam's policy advisor Rohit Malpani.
Another reality of undeveloped and developing countries not found to anywhere near the same extent in developed countries is that AIDS substantially impacts children.
Over twenty-five years into the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic, the children in its path remain at grave risk. In 2007, it was estimated that 2.1 million children under 15 years old were living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and 290,000 children died of AIDS and 420,000 children were newly infected. Over 15 million children under 18 have lost one or both parents to AIDS, and millions more have been made vulnerable. Children affected by HIV and AIDS may experience poverty, homelessness, school drop-out, discrimination, loss of life opportunity, and early death.
This is only one pathway one could take to learn of the suffering caused by AIDS and the problems of facing the challenge. Hundreds of others will be taken by others on Bloggers Unite.