A few simple actions against AIDS
A series of articles by guest writers for World AIDS Day 2012
Part of AVERT's World AIDS Day 2012 campaign, ‘Reflections on the Epidemic’ are a series of articles by guest writers.
Our guest writers range from global leaders, writers, experts, activists, physicians and people personally affected by HIV and AIDS; and they represent various countries, experiences and backgrounds from all over the world.
We are grateful to all our guest writers for their effort and the diverse and insightful viewpoints that they contributed to the world’s response to HIV and AIDS.
You can also see all articles and writers in this series at the end of every article.
We have come so far when it comes to HIV/AIDS, yet still at times I feel like we are so behind. Now that HIV is treatable, we as Americans have become complacent. HIV may not mean death, but let’s be realistic, it is a life sentence. A life of pills, doctor visits, blood work and X-rays with a lifetime of worrying if death is around the corner if you simply sneeze. I do not understand why we are not arming our family members and neighbours with the tools to protect themselves from something that is 100% preventable.
Why are we OK with silently allowing millions to become infected with HIV while spending tax dollars on treatment for something that is avoidable? Why do we turn a blind eye when it comes to HIV/AIDS, we act as if HIV/AIDS is everyone else’s problem when in reality it is everyone’s issue, you are either affected or infected with HIV. As the times change and our children deal with more adult responsibility, why do we not have more detailed and extensive health classes truly highlighting the consequence of our actions or the choices we make?
As a child born with HIV I did not have a choice, but so many do, you have a choice to talk to your sexual partners about HIV testing, you have the choice to educate our youth on making wise choices with their bodies. I truly believe if more effort were put into providing HIV/AIDS awareness in our schools and on TV and radio as it once was in the early 90’s we would truly see a decline in the number of people contracting HIV.
We ask ourselves, why aren’t people getting the message? But, as the old saying goes, ‘Out of sight out of mind’. Now is the time to re-engage the world in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
It is also important to be less judgemental when we think of those living with HIV or AIDS. There is a stigma attached and we sometimes look at people as if they did something morally wrong and that is why they contracted HIV. We do not look at a person who has lung cancer and say, ‘That is what they get for smoking cigarettes’, so why the double standard?
If we were less judgemental I believe more people would be willing to be tested for HIV. The fight against HIV/AIDS is truly just about us loving and protecting our fellow human beings.
Hydeia Broadbent is an International HIV/AIDS Activist & Humanitarian and one of Ebony Magazine's, The Root's, and TheGrio.com's (division of NBC News) Power 100 for 2011.
Hydeia is featured on AVERT's page HIV and AIDS among African Americans.
Image: 'A red AIDS ribbon on the front of the White House on World AIDS Day 2007,' copyright: AVERT / Graham Pembrey. 'Hydeia Broadbent', courtesy of Hydeia Broadbent.
Meeting the challenge of stigma in Iran
Words are not enough: Where is the genuine support for an AIDS-free generation?
Going beyond the silver bullet approach
A new generation of awareness
Mothers at the forefront of change
A few simple actions against AIDS
The reality of beginning the end of AIDS
In the balance — HIV and the Law
Striving for an AIDS free generation of adolescents
A broken unity: An American reflection on the epidemic
Universal access for people who use drugs: Not just a pipe dream
In pursuit of a cure
The future of antiretroviral treatment
Ending paediatric AIDS
A future of possibilities
Riding the waves of HIV
The Paediatric HIV response in the context of AIDS optimism
HIV/AIDS Care begins at home
HIV/AIDS in Uganda: Myth to reality
Why beauty is a great weapon in the fight against HIV/AIDS
HIV Walk, unravels the epidemic
The importance of Parliamentary voices in the AIDS response
Women breaking the stereotype
Resources for a rights based approach to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic
AIDS - It’s not over
Backing the community response
Gogo-getters become elders
Getting to zero
The search for common humanity at the heart of the AIDS response
AIDS is still hot in India
Why involve women with HIV?
All opinions expressed in 'Reflections on the Epidemic' do not necessarily represent those of AVERT.