| Monday, December 05, 2005
| HIV: 40 MILLION WORLDWIDE
|World AIDS Day is marked with education campaigns, marches.
FATICK, Senegel - School children in Senegal pledged to abstain from sex, and village women in India cast off a veil of shame about their HIV status as World Aids Day is marked Thursday around the globe.
"Our teacher told us tht AIDS is a very dangerous disease", said 13-year old Aissatou Niang, wearing a green Muslim headscarf. "Only abstinence can save us" she said as her schoolmates giggled nearlby.
Such frank rally among African children is key, say anti-AIDS campaigners who emphasize science can help combat the disease, but ignorance or taboos surrounding its tranmission means AIDS is hard to halt -- and treat.
About 40 million people worldwide are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS . Some 3 million of them are expected to die of AIDS this year. Africa, with only 10 percent of the rold's population, suffers over half of tis HIV infections.
In India, some 70 HIV- infected women stepped out of the shadow during a rally in Golaghat, a town in eastern Assam state, to acknowledge they are living with AIDS and should not be ashamed.
"I'm happy many women have paid heed to our call and have openly admitted to their HIV positive status," said Jahnabi Goswami, 28. "Men with the disease need to follow suit".
An estimated 5.1 million people are living with HIV in India -- themost in any single country except South Africa, Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, is thrid.
South African Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka urged her countrymen Thursday to show their concern about AIDS throughout the year.
"Whatever good we do today, let us repeat it tomorrow, next week and in the coming months as we look forward to the years ahead", she said.
In a speech in Washington, Presiden Bush pledged to expand the AIDS prevention programs the U.S. funds in Africa and elsewhere around the world that emphasize abstinence as well as condom use. Critics have said the programs stress abstinence at the expense of condom use, a dangerouldy unrealistic approach.
From the far reaches of the globe, people showed solidarity with the worl'd AIDs sufferers.
Thousands of candles were to illuminate the Swedish winter gloom, with anti-AIDS vigils planned for the capital, Stockholm, and a southern city, Malmo.
The British government marked World AIDS Day by contributing US$48 million to the global fight against the disease.
ARGENTINA: The traditional obelisk in downtown Buenos Aires is covered by a giant condom Thursday.
SWITZERLAND: 6,000 candles are lighted infron of the Swiss House of Parliament to commemorate those who died of AIDS each day in Africa.
CHICAGO: AIDS quilt panels on display at the Daley Center in downtown Chicago.
DENMARK: 2,000 candles for the victims of HIV/AIDS was lighted.
(Source: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 1:15 PM