Today is World Aids Day a disease that seems to have largely forgotten in the developed world. I recently went to watch the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” which told the history of the rock group Queen and it’s front man Freddie Mercury, a big hero of mime. I remember the day I heard he died from complications from aids – I felt like I had lost a member of my family. I have also lost several good friends to this horrible disease. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
Many advances have been made in the treatment of HIV that are allowing people to live longer (but not cured) and great steps have been made in creating laws and in the education of communities around the world to protect and accept those around them who are living with HIV.
Globally there are an estimated 36.7 million people who have the virus, and many new infections are still happening daily in developed and developing countries alike.
World AIDS Day is important because it reminds the public and government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.