World Aids Day
In recognition of World Aids Day
I remember being very young sitting in front of the television watching with my grandmother and seeing a sweet little girl not much older than I was at the time explain to Oprah and the world that she had AIDS.
As a young person in 1998, Hydeia Broadbent was the first to introduce me and many others to the epidemic of AIDS and HIV which today has claimed so many lives, some of whom were close to me. This disease has made an impactful arrival and has claimed residence here in our communities.
In recognition of World Aids Day, thousands of cities and communities this year dimmed their lights in support of the Light for Rights campaign which focuses on human rights, HIV and AIDS. At the same time, a few other household names dimmed their social networking.
Celebrities such as Alicia Keys, Usher Raymond, Swizz Beats, Serena Williams, Kim and Khloe Kardashian and Lala Vasquez have declared themselves digitally dead meaning they will not use Twitter or Facebook until their fundraising goal of $1,000,000 has been met by their fans through the Keep a Child Alive Foundation. As of noon yesterday $23,000 had been raised.
Thankfully, we are a long way from 1988 and have made a huge difference toward increasing awareness of the epidemic. Research shows that there has been a significant decrease in the number of AIDS and HIV cases.
The 2010 Global Update on the AIDS Epidemic by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) shows that in 2009, the pace of new infections had declined by almost 20 percent compared to 1999. While we are on an upward journey to prevent infections, there is still more work to be done. We all must play a part in preventing the spread of this disease and donating to its cure.
The recent news in Tulsa, Oklahoma, brings to light an issue that is rare, but nonetheless important — cross infection in the dental office, or the transfer of infection from one patient to another in a health care environment.
The unfortunate reality is that you, as the consumer, have very little chance of knowing what’s going on — it’s a huge trust relationship. Cross contamination is literally invisible because it’s caused by microbes invisible to the human eye, so only the professionals can guarantee that it doesn’t happen.
Evidence is mounting that it is possible to control the virus that causes AIDS with early treatment, so further therapy is not immediately needed.
A recent study in the journal PLOS Pathogens reports that 14 patients with HIV, who received antiretroviral treatment within 10 weeks of infection, had their viral loads decreased so much that scientists say they are “functionally cured.”
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Free HIV testing will be offered and panel discussions will be held in Los Angeles County in connection with Saturday’s 25th observance of World AIDS Day, whose theme is “Working Together for an AIDS-Free Generation.”
Free HIV testing will be offered noon-6 p.m. at L.A. Live, 3-5 p.m. at the AIDS Monument in Lincoln Park in Lincoln Heights and 7-11 p.m. at the Sweet Dreams Dessert Lounge in Whittier.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—In a decision that could put a dent in the Southland’s famed pornographic-film industry, Los Angeles County voters approved a requirement that adult film actors wear condoms.
The “Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act” requires adult film producers to apply for a permit from the county Department of Public Health to shoot sex scenes. Permit fees will finance periodic inspections of film sets to enforce compliance with the requirement that performers use condoms while engaged in sex acts.
Lydia Friend, the founder of Women of Watts, says the mission of her organization is threefold—demonstration, education and appreciation. “We will demonstrate what it takes to acquire our lives back through more participation in our community. This demonstration will be through the heads of households taking control and showing children of the community what it is to be responsible for yourself and your community. We shall demonstrate by cleansing the environment of violence and anything that pollutes the community and children’s minds.