Monday, December 1, 2008
World AIDS Day
It's World Aids Day.
Living where I do, the AIDS epidemic is something I only hear about on the news. I'm sure there are people in my city and community with the disease - it would be foolish to think that there aren't. But it isn't something I am confronted with daily.
However, when I lived in Toronto it was different. I knew people with the disease...all of whom are gone now. Good people...compassionate, caring people. Gone. Some were former intravenous drug users, others were gay...some were straight. But they all had one thing in common; an incurable disease that eventually took their lives.
The statistics on AIDS/HIV are frightening...staggering, even. Is it lack of knowledge or apathy on the part of the general public that allows this nightmare to run rampant?
Here in Ontario, I know that the public school system makes learning about HIV, AIDS, and other STD's a part of the regular curriculum. This, in my opinion, is a good thing.
I remember when I was in high school some parents were up in arms that they were teaching sexual health classes in the school - and that condoms were provided for the asking by the health care nurse. Seems foolish to me to be upset, seeing as the consequences of not having the knowledge and the ability to protect oneself can result in pregnancy, sickness and yes, even death (although not instantaneous).
If you are a parent and your child is of an age to learn about such things, find out if your child's school provides health classes that will cover these subjects. If they do not, there is a multitude of resources at your disposal to provide you with all the knowledge and tools to teach them yourself - the internet being among the best. Yes...it's not just for porn anymore.
There are many, many organizations and foundations in support of AIDS research. Surely you can find the time and the strength of character to help them out somehow. Donate money, time, or provisions...
Open your heart and your mind.
The future depends on it.