Saturday, December 01, 2007

World AIDS Day

There are many diseases which plague humans. Malaria kills and water-borne illnesses kill, and in the millions. It is still important to recognize one of the great scourges of our time --AIDS. It's estimated that two million people will die of AIDS this year around the world. This statistic tells only part of the story because children in Africa are orphaned by AIDS and whole villages and towns are left without anyone of parenting age. There simply isn't the money for the drugs which would prolong the lives of those with HIV.

In Canada and the United States and other Western nations many do get the anti-viral drugs that make HIV manageable, but we are still learning. Last night The National did a 15-minute piece on a Dr. Montaner in British Columbia who wants a "cocktail" of drugs made available to those who get missed by the health-care system, including those who live on the street or close to it. The cocktail has been tremendously effective with those who are receiving it already.

There are hopeful signs that the world is developing the will to deal with this devastating disease. Communities of faith are finally getting over the moral prejudices against HIV and AIDS sufferers to simply respond in Christ's name. I admire Pastor Rick Warren, the evangelical leader in the States who is convening a conference of thousands of church leaders this weekend to develop strategies to combat HIV/AIDS. This is what Christ who touched the untouchables would want us to do. As the T-shirt says, a world without AIDS is possible.

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