Dec.1 is here and so is another World AIDS Day to remember AIDS victims. It arrives yet again without any sort of cure, or even a vaccine on the horizon.
At least how AIDS is transmitted is understood now, through unprotected sex, from mother to child and using dirty needles when doing drugs. Blood transfusions were a route at one time but does that still happen?
In the United States, there are about 1.3 million people who are living with HIV on a daily basis. Internationally, the number is about 35.5 million people. For various reasons, the main one being they are underprivileged and excluded from normal society, it seems their needs do no matter to the worldwide markets. Because AIDS has from the start been an illness of the ostracized, it has been able to spread around the world because of society’s cracks. HIV is what causes AIDS, but it has not helped that AIDS has a stigma attached to it. However, AIDS victims are remembered.
The rates of infection among certain groups of people have stayed disproportionately high, as statistics will show. According to CDC recent figures, there are about 30,500 men who had sex with other men and got HIV back in 2010. This was up almost 13 percent from 2008. While the infection rates amid black women have seemed to fall recently, they still remain over 20 times above those of white women. Such strong connections between sexual or racial characteristics and infection rates propose that this seems to be a correct way to learn about the AIDS catastrophe.
Yet these statistics hide as much as they show. It can put all people within a large category; regardless of how likely they are of contracting HIV. Under this basic umbrella, every gay man, black woman or drug user that uses a needle are treated as likely sources of AIDS.
Such a study can limit anyone’s understanding of the HIV crisis. Such groupings do not have the same relationship to HIV in other places in the world. It would be better to look at AIDS as a disease that affects those who are more likely to dwell in poverty, are stigmatized by their sexual practices, have little health care or may abuse illegal drugs.
In creating health remedies for those who are highest at risk for HIV and AIDS, the CDC states that the increase of new infections between white and black gay men is about identical. Even though non-Latino whites account for about 65 percent of the United States population, while blacks only represent around 13 percent. The biggest rise in infections has been noted in the youngest age group.
By continuing to focus on ostracism, and not behavior or identity, it might be possible to finally address the causes of inequity which leave certain members of society at higher risk of having negative life and/or health outcomes. This includes HIV and AIDS.
If AIDS could ever be cured and then certain people are not saved, the rigid truth will be because it will be thought that some lives do not appear to be worth saving. Such ideas have to be changed in order for all people to have the right to celebrate World AIDS Day, not just have AIDS victims remembered on Dec. 1st.
By Kimberly Ruble