It’s 1st December 2008 when I wrote this entry. This entry was originally meant for another one of my regular venting until I saw a young child, who is probably still in her primary school walked passed me at my regular breakfast spot. I almost missed the red ribbon that she’s wearing, pinned on her black coloured t-shirt. All but a child reminded me that today, 1st December 2008 hold more significant than other day. Today is supposed to be the World Red Ribbon Day, or in other words, the World AIDS Day.
The realization hit me very hard on my head. I felt as if I’ve been knocked on the head by an imaginary teacher, and it hurts. I have realized two things over my cuppa tea after seeing the little girl wearing a pinned ribbon on her t-shirt, which is first, I did not do my part as a human being to make a difference to stop the stigma on the number one pandemic that still shows no sign of stopping. And two, I realized that Malaysians are not doing much to stop the innocent being victimized by AIDS. If Malaysian government have been doing their part to reduce the spread of this pandemic, I would have realized earlier that today is World AIDS Day. If Malaysian bloggers bothered enough to talk about AIDS the way they camwhore on their blogs, write about their food gluttony, bitch about politics or even gossips, I would have realized earlier that today is world’s AIDS Day. And if only Malaysian newspaper stop bootlicking the politicians for a while to reflect on Word AIDS Day, I would have worn the red ribbon myself today.
And so, today, as a blogger, I’m really ashamed of myself, for even planning to write about something that do not really matter, something that could not make a difference to the the world. So today, I would like to speak up about AIDS and the innocents. You may read this entry or even skip this altogether, I don’t mind. I just would like to spare my conscience from a guilt trip from being an ignorant and selfish human being. I may not so much difference with this entry, but at least, once you, precious readers saw the red ribbon, you’ll know what day is it today.
The innocents that I’m talking about is women and children who contracted AIDS simply because they had sex with their husband, and simply because a baby is born to a woman who is HIV positive. AIDS are often a result of infidelities and casual sex. It’s sad to see women and children all around the world had AIDS because of their husband/father’s lusts.
According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.2 million people living with HIV, including 2.5 million children. During 2007 some 2.5 million people became newly infected with the virus. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35.
Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day is about raising money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.
Currently only a minority of pregnant women living with HIV in the developing world are provided with drugs to prevent the virus being transmitted to their babies. As a result, nearly half a million children become infected with HIV every year.
I will not talk about how AIDS is spread and what we can and cannot do when we interact with a person who have AIDS, you probably know that. Let’s talk about stopping HIV from being transmitted from mothers to babies.The vast majority children’s prevented by stopping the transmission of HIV from mothers to their babies. If babies don’t become infected with HIV then they won’t develop AIDS and die.
Any baby born to a mother with HIV risks becoming infected during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding. The chance of this happening can be massively reduced by giving HIV infected mothers and their babies anti-HIV drugs and, where appropriate, by feeding the baby using formula rather than breast milk.
These interventions are known as the Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission or “PMTCT”. No mother wants to pass HIV to her child, but without PMTCT interventions, around one in three babies born to women with HIV will become infected with HIV themselves.
In developed countries, almost all HIV infected women will receive good PMTCT care. With the best treatment and formula feeding, the chance of HIV being transmitted to the baby is less than two percent. But I doubt Malaysian women are getting such care, as the stigma is still huge in Malaysia, not to mention that women cannot access PMTCT service because it’s not available or inefficient in hospital or clinics. Stigma does not help the situation too. Once a woman is infected by HIV, she’s doomed to be called names and shunned by the society, even though she’s innocent and gets HIV as a result of her husband’s wild sex life.
My writing today may not do much difference to the escalating number of women and children getting AIDS, but I do hope to make known of this campaign that is aimed to stop the transmission of AIDS from mother to their babies. I’m pretty sure that not many is aware that such this is actually possible.
Please, I beg of all of you, spare some time to VISIT THIS SITE to find out more about PMTCT and spread about it.
Join the campaign. Your effort may be not much, but it could possibly save a life or two. You, precious readers, can make a difference. If you can camwhore for your blog, write about your food adventure or anticipation for upcoming parties or events, you definitely can do this, something that could possibly save children’s life.
Cleffairy: The children do not have to suffer for the sin of their father and mother. Stop the innocent from suffering and dying.