by Henry Ekwuruke
Published on: Dec 3, 2005
Type: Opinions

World AIDS Day is recognized every December 1 around the world as an international day and event. This day is a world celebration of solidarity and care for the people living with HIV/AIDS and remembering the heroes and heroines who have died in the past, and also for raising awareness about HIV/AIDS. We narrate the impacts of the disease on the wider society.

As I write this article, I remember so many dreadful pasts, some sorrowful moments and days when I cried on a World AIDS Day. I could not tell the story more better, I believe you should understand the picture in your minds. We are joining all people: men, women, youths and children all over the world to celebrate this memorial event “World AIDS Day.” In my community, Nnado Foundation Inc. has been doing some pretty marvelous work in the area of awareness campaigns on prevention and care with the “Staying Alive Nigerian Project” which is receiving a great boost.

But what becomes the fate of an infected person without money for treatment and feeding? A woman asked, “Does it mean that this disease is incurable and our fate unknown? We will die! It should be for the rich people, who have the money for treatments, I cannot afford it,” she cried. We tried to explain some facts to her and others but it was very difficult to give them hope in the face of AIDS here in Nigeria, since we have no healing for them and they believe there should be hope with capital to enable them and treat them for a total cure. Yet the message we have for them was received and heard by all with mixed feelings.

The bad disease has found its root here in Africa so deeply that the uprootment will take extra powers to achieve. The face of AIDS seems to have identified with the face of Africa and the soil that they are playing together at the expense of one. It is a dear terrible situation here and importantly we hear the message daily in very different mediums, yet action and choice becomes a problem. People are not seeing the impact themselves until the impact sees them and unveiling the realities by themselves, now even a child in primary school can educate or preach to you about the HIV/AIDS.

This year in 2005, our slogan for World AIDS Day was, “STAY ALIVE AND DEY KAMPE 2005 FOR TOMORROW.”. Let us all over the world remembers Africa and its people this period because they are languishing and becoming prey to this predator “AIDS.” Our youth are our strength but our strength is attacked to the fullest.

Picture the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the past and the present and strategize for change tomorrow. Advocate for free drugs and cheap treatment for HIV/AIDS patients especially for the less privileged people in the rural communities and the have-nots; campaign for global justice and change in behavior by all; work for good legislations against stigma and advocate for the PLWHAs.

Be the change today as we celebrate and commemorate the experiences and pray for a better World AIDS Day in 2006 and a possible world free of AIDS.

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