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December 1st, 2011
12:17 PM ET

Why we still care... A look at the AIDS epidemic

Over the past 30 years, no four letters have been as polarizing or as resonant as AIDS. 30 years have passed since the first AIDS case and currently 1.1 million people in the United States and an estimated 33.3 million people worldwide live with the disease. In its relatively short period of existence, AIDS has caused some of the most dramatic and heart wrenching moments collected and has been a controversial force in societal mores from its initial recognition.

Today, Thursday, December 1, 2011 is World AIDS Day. As we reflect on how far we have come in battling the disease medically and how we perceive the disease socially, how far do we need to go?

Piers Morgan talked to NBA Hall of Fame inductee Ervin "Magic" Johnson Monday, who is experiencing his own 20 year anniversary with HIV. Johnson, among others living with HIV, is fortunate to have the medical resources developed to battle the disease. Though there are medical resources available there is still work to be done in providing treatment to people who are not currently receiving treatment.

Since the early days of AIDS, activism has been the strongest force in the agent of change for the disease from Cleve Jones and the production of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt to Bono and his ONE and Product(RED) campaigns to students on college campuses around the country voicing opinions, organizing walks, or conducting phone-ins to make sure that the disease is on the minds of the general public. AIDS is as much a part of the consciousness of society as it is a part of pop culture. Nonetheless, amidst all of the media attention and star power surrounding AIDS, one must be careful not to make the disease a caricature of itself and dilute the true purpose of advocacy. If we continue to progress positively as we have in the past 30 years, there is no reason why the slogan of this year's World AIDS Day "Getting to Zero" cannot truly become a reality.

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soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Helen

    Show topic: The Democratic Party has an office in the White House. This practice started in the Clinton administration and continued through the Bush years. Since the party of the Chosen can be considered a looby, why are we having an office for lobbyists in the White House?
    Also, the polarization, gridlock, and disgusting political environment's decline can be tracked along the line of the White House Occupation by the parties. Reminds me a lot of Communism, where we oft remark that the president of the former USSR did not matter, the real puppeteer is the Communist Party. Whose "pulling our strings"?

    December 1, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. fabian

    Helen i love your orservaction our leader are not helping matter.

    December 2, 2011 at 3:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Lucas

    The funny thing about the comment "The last time the doaecrmts were in power the economy was better". Ahhhhhh....STOP you are SO misinformed...If you are talking about Clinton...IT WAS A GOP Congress...the real decision makers behind the ECONOMY.I don't know where you get the "not welcomed" comment either. The President spoke at the convention and Sen. McCain also spoke of him. All the garbage about President Bush...let me ask you. Have we been attacked again since Sept 11? Do you think that is by accident? Before you post...get a clue.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
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