It was more than 10 years ago when my uncle was in the hospital for what my family and I thought was pneumonia. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was eight years old and so excited to see my favorite uncle, who would shower me and my sister with kisses whenever he would see us. But, when my father and I got to the hospital, it wasn’t the uncle I knew or expected to see. The nurse, who wore a face mask, told my father that I was to young to go in, so I sat on a cold chair outside my uncle’s room. I peeked through the room window and saw how thin and pale he became. He was surrounded by a thick see-through bed curtain. I was so certain that he would turn his head toward my direction and give me that smile that made everything seem better. He never did. A few weeks later he died. That’s when we found out he had AIDS.
At that time I didn’t know anything about AIDS, other than it took away my favorite uncle. Now I hope we are all smart enough to know that being diagnosed HIV-positive isn’t a death sentence. There are around 35 million people living with HIV now. And with researchers push to find the ultimate cure for a disease that morphs so rapidly, we should do our part. World AIDS day, annual event to commemorate AIDS epidemic, gives everyone across the globe a chance to make people aware this is the fight of our LIFETIME. Let’s make it count while we are still living.
Here is how you can help:
Fundraising- Scientists need all the money they can get their hands on to find a cure for this pandemic. So whether it’s a bake sale or pooling money from co-workers, the pennies, quarters and dimes you help raise will help in a big way.
Volunteer- Time or money to organizations devoted to this cause, such as The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, World Vision, CARE
Get Tested- Be aware of your own body and how you can protect yourself from HIV and other STDs.