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Why don’t we end this? Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by x.O.X Shel., Canada Feb 2, 2007
Human Rights   Opinions


Priorities -something afforded or deserving prior attention, here in North America our set of priorities seem to be off balance, what we value most in the world only seem to be what surrounds ourselves. Were almost ignorant in a way of the problems that are staring us down in the face. What I’m saying is as a whole we care more for information on Tom and Katie’s baby, then we do for thousands of babies who go to bed hungry, cold , scared, and infected with aids.

Most people have heard the facts that Aids (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) weakens the immune system when the virus HIV enters the body. The person infected looses the ability to fight infection which usually leads to illnesses such as pneumonia, diarrhea, and tumors. According to the UN aids is the forth place among causes of death in the world. Everyday in Africa 6,600 people die and another 8,500 contract the HIV virus, 1,400 of whom are newborn babies. More than 11 million African children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS and the number will reach 40 million by 2010. In Botswana life expectancy has fallen from 60.2 years to 36 years in 2005 (which Is mainly due to the spread of aids.) In Southern Africa one in four women aged between 20 to 29 is HIV positive. These are just some of the hard hitting facts that we must face.

There are the facts, and then there are the stories, the stories of individual struggles. In a recent story by CBS News a producer named Edith Champagne and camera person Sat Nandlalle covered a story in Zimbabwe in a Harare suburb at the Mashamzou Centre. There they encounter Malida and Leona who were born with the virus that will eventually kill them before they reach their teen years. Leona (12) said her favorite subjects in school were math and science. But the odds are against her that she’ll will ever finish high school. Another young girl they encountered was sixteen-year-old Priscilla. She was brought to the Center three months prior and was knocking on deaths door, the Catholic sisters managed to bring her back to life. But her days seemed to be numbered to. When she was nine-years-old her uncle repeatedly raped her. He was infected. Once she became sick her mother didn’t want her living in the house, she felt she might get her two other sisters sick. So now her aunt and niece are her only family.

But what do we do with this information? Discard it, hope, pray that someone else will read it and do something about it? We can only do that for so long. Political leaders have been ignoring this for years, and most likely will continue to for the years to come, why should we?

Why don’t we stop and reconsider some of our priorities. We don’t have to buy that designer bag, we don’t have to have 4 cars in our driveway, we don’t have to dedicate half our lives being in a shopping mall, we don’t have to go on that vacation every year, but we have to make an effort to ending AIDS in Africa.

There are organizations out there that make this so simple for us. We just have to open our hearts (pockets) and maybe even some of our time to them. Organizations such as Shining Stars of Monarch, SASO Salima HIV-AIDS Support Organization, Project Hope, Humana People to People and much more.

I think its time to make fighting AIDS one of our top priorities.

By: Shelby Challis



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