This blog-a-thon submission comes from Arthur of ChildFund International. Arthur writes about being an HIV positive young person; he hopes that awareness celebrations like World AIDS Day will help dispel stigma and spread acceptance. To learn more about ChildFund International follow this link.
My name is Arthur and I am 15 years old. I am HIV-positive. I tested positive in December 2006. I live in Kafue District of Zambia with my parents, older sister and aunties, and I am enrolled in ChildFund programs.
World AIDS Day is a very important day for me as people the world over come together to show their support for those living with HIV. When AIDS was discovered in the early 1980s, all the people in the world were shocked and filled with fear. A lot of stories trying to explain the cause of this deadly disease were being told.
After much research was done it was discovered that this disease was caused by a virus called HIV, which attacks the human immune system and is found in human blood. It was also discovered that one can get the disease through sexual intercourse, and this caused a lot of stigma and discrimination to the people infected. Eventually, people began to realize that everyone could be affected, as a lot of people were dying from AIDS.
Many children were left orphaned, and people were losing friends and relatives. The world again realized that even if you were not infected you were affected and decided to come together to fight this deadly disease called AIDS. Other discoveries were made on the mode of transmission such as mother-to-child transmission.
To show world unity, people began to commemorate World AIDS Day in
December 2000. This is one of the biggest days for people living with
HIV because it helps them to feel recognized, accepted and supported.
They are not excluded but included.
AIDS has widely spread through six continents and 54 African countries.
With so many people affected, there is no reason for a negative attitude
toward people who are infected.
World AIDS Day is a day to show love, care and support to people who
are infected. Despite AIDS not being curable, medicines have been
produced to boost one’s immune system and give hope for the future. If
one is infected, it does not mean it’s the end of world. With ARVs
(antiretroviral medications), one can live their life to the fullest.
World AIDS Day is a day when the infected and the affected can celebrate
the end of stigma and discrimination and continue fighting the good
fight of faith. One day, we will win.
Arthur, ChildFund International
Photo Credits: ChildFund International @ Your Shot, Joe Herbert