Where are we in the battle with AIDS?

The Eight Millennium Development Goals cont.

For many people The World AIDS Day is everyday

untitled5For some of us the World AIDS Day is on 1 December. For many, it is everyday. Since the Human Immunodeficiency Virus was first documented in 1981 it has claimed more than 20 million victims. Today, 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS. 95% of these victims are peoples in developing countries, which only proves that socio-economic factors may catalyze the spreading of the virus. In the year 2005 only, 3 million people died from AIDS-related diseases. 14 000 more people are being infected by the virus every day and 6000 of them are younger than 25 years of age. Let us not forget, not even for a moment, that people having AIDS are not merely numbers extracted from the statistics, but people like us who had plans and goals, but now can only hope that they will not get a cold that may be mortal for their weakened immune system. Scientists have not yet developed effective cure for HIV/AIDS and existing medications are too expensive for many of the infected people. Not to mention, lack of education and medical prevention in developing countries often explains why people become infected so often and effective treatment can hardly take place before it is already too late.


Charles Saco from Kibera, Nairobi, used to be a teacher, but lost his job when it became clear that he was HIV-positive. People asked him “Charles – does your body shed scales? What sickness are you suffering from?” However, taking drugs saved Charles from the “death sentence” and now he is able to stand on his feet for hours, feeling stronger. The person who had plans for a teaching career is now happy that he found a job as a social worker – cleaning the rubbish in Kibera. Eventually, he even started working in an HIV clinic where he could help people who are suffering as he did.

The World Bank informs that HIV/AIDS is not only a health problem, but also a “developmental problem, threatening human welfare, socio-economic advances, productivity, social cohesion and even national security”. Obviously, it is important to put a price tag next to the lost lives and the lives to be saved. Talking prices, the United Nations estimated that between $40 and $70 billion additional assistance per year is going to be needed, if we are to ensure the help and medications infected patients in developing countries need.

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