Thought For The Day – Thursday 1st December 2022
World AIDS Day
Today is World AIDS Day.
The red ribbon, the symbol of this day, represents boldness, passion, the heart and love.
AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) describes a number of life-threatening illnesses that occur when the immune system has been damaged by the HIV virus.
There is, at present, no vaccine for HIV/AIDS. HIV is transmitted through unprotected and unsafe sex (all people must be 16 and above before having sex and there must be consent before and during sex), blood, breast milk or sharing needles (illegal drugs, whether needles are used are not, are always wrong) with a person who is HIV positive. Intentionally and deliberately infecting someone with HIV, when that person knows they have HIV, carries a prison sentence.
However, thanks once again to the caring, health, medical and scientific and professions, medication ensures people live a very long and good life with HIV as medication is taken to avoid AIDS developing. Under the 2010 UK Equality Act, people with HIV/AIDS have legal and social rights.
The world first became aware of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s. It was a public health challenge. Leaflets were sent to every home. So many passed away owing to love. Where countries and communities cannot afford health care, they still do. The theme of the day this year: “Equalise”.
31 years ago last week, the lead singer of Queen, Freddie Mercury, passed away owing to AIDS. Freddie Mercury told the world he had AIDS 24 hours before his passing. By fearlessly letting the world know what was private to him, AIDS awareness became a vital part of his legacy. His last music video was: “These Are the Days of Our Lives.” Though the body was frail, the voice was very strong.
The award-winning film “Philadelphia”, starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, explored prejudice and discrimination to someone suffering from HIV/AIDS. The title song, by Bruce Springsteen, imagines someone suffering the challenge of HIV/AIDS. Compassion and care is always needed in life.
At the time, Princess Diana (pictured below) broke down stigma, prejudice and discrimination by hugging, and shaking hands with, AIDS patients.