Monday, December 1, 2008

World AIDS Day 2008: Keep The Promise

By Amy Judd, Now Public

AIDS is a disease for which there is no cure. There is no pill, no vaccine, no surgery to make you better. HIV and AIDS has decimated the world we live in.

What started as almost an unknown disease, has now spread worldwide to affect families, groups and even whole countries.

December 1 is dedicated each year to AIDS awareness, which is caused by the spread of the HIV infection.

On this day people wear red ribbons to show their support and to raise awareness. This started as a grassroots effort and there is still not one main manufacturer for the ribbons.

At last estimate by UNAIDS, about 25 million people have been killed by the disease, and currently about 33.2 million people are living with HIV.

World AIDS Day, originated in 1988, and now every year it is a cause supported by governments worldwide, as well as groups and charities.

About 95% of those people live in the developing world, where access to the proper medicines and care is hard to find, and the disease spreads much more rapidly than in the rest of the world.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the most heavily infected place in the world for HIV and AIDS - so far about 1.5 million people have died from the disease there in the past year.

The Butterfly Tree
is one of the charities working in Africa at the moment to help stop the spread of HIV and AIDS.

They run a number of programs to help people living with the disease - from feeding children whose mothers are HIV positive, to looking after orphans whose parents have died from AIDS.

Founder Jane Kaye-Bailey says that the Butterfly Tree started the orphan sponsorship program "because they believe that every child has a right to education and by offering an orphan sponsorship program to children who have lost their parents through HIV/AIDS gives them a chance to overcome this devastating pandemic".

Jane and her team have also initiated the first feeding program in Zambia for children under five and she says that as a result more mothers have come forward to be tested for HIV and AIDS.

The charity also supports everyone who is HIV positive through "workshops and voluntary testing, making more people aware of the dangers, help remove the stigma" explains Jane Kaye-Bailey.

You can also contact The Butterfly Tree to sponsor a child whose life has been severly affected by AIDS.

December 1 is one day in which we can raise awareness about what is happening due to this disease, but this is a epidemic that lasts every day of the year.

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