World AIDS Day
December 1st is World AIDS Day, and it is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate people who have passed away.
Although many still believe HIV and AIDS are only prevalent in the LGBTQ community, the truth is the disease affects us all. The day AIDS became real to me is when Earvin “Magic” Johnson came forward, and stated he was HIV positive. I think it finally hit home for many in urban communities when it was announced that Eric “Eazy E” Wright had contracted AIDS, and died one month later due to complications from the disease.
Alvin Ailey of American Dance Theater fame, and professional tennis player, Arthur Ashe, are also famous African-American icons who died of AIDS, or complications from the disease.
Today, HIV and AIDS are still claiming the lives of many due to lack of knowledge and awareness. Here are some facts everyone should know:
HIV stands for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a virus which attacks the body's immune system — the body's defence against disease
HIV can be passed on through infected bodily fluids, most commonly via sex without a condom or by sharing infected needles, syringes or other injecting drug equipment.
Many people with HIV were infected through sexual contact
You can now get tested for HIV using a saliva sample
HIV is not passed on through spitting, biting or sharing utensils
Only 1% of babies born to HIV positive mothers have HIV
You can get the results of an HIV test in just 15-20 minutes
There is no vaccine and no cure for HIV
Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS Free Generation!