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World AIDS Day 2007

December 1, 2007 is World AIDS Day. Last year I wrote a short post summarizing an MSNBC article about how AIDS has changed America and you can find that post here.

Over the past two and a half decades AIDS has transformed from a strange and unknown disease associated with gay men into a global pandemic whose effects have reached into all levels of society.

The problem is that we still don’t know how to fight it. We can’t stop HIV. Sure, we seem to have had success in delaying the onset of AIDS in HIV Positive patients (i.e. Magic Johnson), but that requires a very expensive cocktail of anti-viral medication. We know that HIV is not a death sentence, but the majority of people who test positive do not have the resources to get this sort of treatment.

At this point, the most effective weapon in the fight against AIDS is information. That’s what World AIDS Day is all about — raising awareness about the disease and its prevention. Through another medical blog, I found a post at The Unofficial Stanford Blog (TUSB) titled HIV/AIDS Awareness Ads You’ll Remember in the Bedroom.

Below are a couple of Ads I found. All four were made by the same organization. The last three can be found at TUSB:

WonderWoman Aids

Female Aids Ad

Male Ad

Superman Aids Ad

According to TUSB, the Ads were created by

a French NGO called AIDES (“aide” means “support” or “help” in French), which was founded by Daniel Defert in 1984 following the death of his partner, philosopher (and former Berkeley professor) Michel Foucault. AIDES now operates in over 70 small towns and villages within France, and is recognized as one of the most important European HIV/AIDS NGOs.

I’m not too sure how to describe the Ads. It definitely has its “shock value,” which is usually a good thing when it comes to grabbing an audience’s attention. Maybe I’d use the word “disturbing.” I suppose it makes its point, though..

Finally, to finish up this post, I’d like to provide a link to an excellent, well-written post titled HIV, AIDS, safe sex, & fornication: Personal, religious, medical and social viewpoints. It’s written by another Jeffrey. He is a medical student at Monash University in Australia working on a 5-year MBBS degree.

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How AIDS changed sex in America. Or did it? – AIDS – MSNBC.com

AIDS is now 25 years old! And over the past 25 years, it is estimated that 25 million people have lost their lives because of AIDS. I was gonna write some commentary about this but its late and I’m tired. An excerpt is included with the link to the whole article hosted on MSNBC.com’s health section.

How AIDS changed sex in America. Or did it? – AIDS – MSNBC.com: “At first, AIDS appeared to be a disease of gay men. But by the time the virus responsible, HIV, had been identified a few years later, fear that sex, whether gay or straight, would kill millions of Americans shadowed every discussion of the topic. America’s sex life seemed poised for a dramatic change.”

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An example of how AIDS has changed us:
A ‘get well’ card is not appropriate to someone with AIDS… We proposed a new line of cards to say things like, ‘I admire the way you have lived your life and I admire the way you are facing your death.
- Ginnie Job, Hallmark writer