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[afro-nets] AIDS is a war against humanity


  • Subject: [afro-nets] AIDS is a war against humanity
  • From: The Southern Health & Ecology Institute <shae@worldonline.co.za>
  • Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2004 07:14:26 +0200
  • Organization: Southern Health & Ecology Institute

AIDS is a war against humanity
------------------------------

Bradford McIntyre, http://www.PositivelyPositive.ca

Individuals should not have to suffer all losses due to illness!
Men, women and children are suffering with HIV/AIDS. We need to
assure that these people are cared for, not discriminated
against! We must provide funds for proper nutrition, housing and
health care for these individuals to aid and contribute to their
well-being. We need to get rid of the false perceptions and
judgments. Like Doreen Millman said in Vancouver at the 1996
AIDS Conference in reference to how a 63 year old grandmother
got AIDS. She said, "It just doesn't matter!" Neither does an
individual's race, religion or sexual orientation matter! Don't
look for differences; look at how we can help one another.

I do not believe it is naive to think we can make the necessary
changes, but rather it is naive to think that we can continue on
our current course neglecting those who suffer from poverty,
illness and disease. People are judging those who are sick, dis-
abled and poor.

At the XIV International AIDS Conference 2002, Nelson Mandela
said, "Stigma, discrimination and ostracism are the real kill-
ers."

People living with illness are no different from anyone else,
except for their disease. Prior to this, they were hard working
people, contributing to society. Once sick, they are expected to
do without and not have those things they had in their life be-
fore sickness! Why do we allow this?

Many people have nothing due to the lack of funding and the ef-
fort it has taken for them to survive through their illness.
People should be entitled to the right to a quality standard of
living, which promotes wellness and healing, not death and dy-
ing. There are people dying due to the stress on an already
stressed and suppressed immune system. There is added stress due
to a lack of funds available to support nutritional diet and
good health. Proper nutrition is necessary for HIV infected in-
dividuals, as those who eat well feel better compared to those
who consume a less than adequate diet. Malnutrition can compro-
mise their ability to fight off infection. The stress that peo-
ple are enduring while trying to maintain a home, food, and
health is putting them at risk of continued health problems.
This in turn means they are in greater need of medical atten-
tion! We should be making good nutrition a high priority in AIDS
treatment!

My concern and disappointment is directed at the lack of consid-
eration given to the present situation of poverty, poor nutri-
tion, inadequate sanitation and housing for people living with
HIV. These issues are of the utmost importance to individuals
who are trying to maintain their health and living. The present
situation is driving people below poverty, affecting their
health and forcing them to live in standards no one would want
to experience! People, who have worked and contributed to soci-
ety, should not be subjected to living in inadequate conditions
due to health and inability to work when diagnosed with a life
threatening disease!

A call for action is necessary. The present situation dictates
that these are vital necessities for people living with HIV/AIDS
throughout the world! Since many people infected with HIV have
neither the health nor energy to work towards creating awareness
and change, it is my intention to speak through my experience
for those whom I hope will benefit. Ignoring the importance of
meeting these needs will bring an ever-increasing cost to our
health care systems and us worldwide. A simple exercise in these
directions and implementation would have an enormous impact on
the fight against AIDS!

We are all here together, connected. Nothing is happening to
just one of us, but affecting ALL of us! Illness and poverty can
strike any one of us, at any time! What is happening affects us
all. We can no longer look at others or view other places in the
world where people are sick and dying and continue to neglect
caring for them, without recognizing how it affects society. We
have the means to provide all that is necessary, but we will
have to work together to correct the global imbalance. The
richer countries have a moral responsibility to help out poorer
countries.

We have been warned by science that we are faced with an ever-
increasing battle -- the battle against the bug! Every country
is at risk of every disease. Here in North America, many people
take for granted our quality of life, while others here and
elsewhere in the world are faced with poverty, poor sewage and
sanitation, famine, drought, environmental devastation and dis-
ease, along with millions of people dying. These are problems
facing us all. These very same circumstances affect people in
every part of the world. We cannot continue to allow millions to
suffer and millions to die and expect we will not be affected.

We have to make the necessary changes and care for one another.
If HIV and AIDS have not brought this realization, then surely
West Nile, SARS, Mad Cow, Monkey Pox and Ebola are convincing
enough! It is time to realize that it is only a matter of time
before this major global epidemic will affect each and every one
of us and that possibly, we will have to deal with some other
new bug as well! This is happening already. Look at the impact
of SARS and its effects on health care, travel, tourism, jobs,
our economy and relationships with other countries. We would do
well to pay attention and learn from the enormous poverty, ill-
ness and deaths worldwide caused by HIV/AIDS.

At the XIV International AIDS Conference in 2002, Nelson Mandela
in his closing speech said, "AIDS is a war against humanity."

There is no doubt this situation is going to have an enormous
effect on all our lives. When will our eyes be opened to what is
going on all around us?

--
The Southern Health & Ecology Institute
mailto:shae@worldonline.co.za