Rep. John Lewis Urges Southern Compassion on World AIDS Day
Saturday December 1 is World AIDS Day, founded in 1988 by the World Health Organization (WHO) to call global attention to the need for HIV/AIDS awareness, education, prevention and treatment. The most recent report by the WHO indicates that growth in the incidence of AIDS peaked in the 1990's and has leveled at high proportions ever since, with 33 million people around the world living with HIV/AIDS today. Trends indicate that in all regions of the world, the incidence of AIDS in women is growing. In Sub-Saharan Africa where the incidence of the disease is the highest, 61 percent of women have AIDS. In 2007 1.7 million people died there from the disease, and 1.6 million were newly infected. Also, the southern United States is reporting more new cases of infection than any other region, and it has reached epidemic proportions in some communities, including some in Atlanta. Rep. Lewis made this statement about our need to address the spread of HIV/AIDS:
Also, the southern United States is reporting more new cases of infection than any other region, and it has reached epidemic proportions in some communities, including some in Atlanta. Rep. Lewis made this statement about our need to address the spread of HIV/AIDS:
"This nation needs to do more," said Rep. John Lewis, "to combat AIDS here and abroad. The battle has not been won. Actually, it has only just begun, and HIV/AIDS is continuing to spread, especially in the American South, among minority populations, both in rural and urban areas.
"Each one of us must find a way to involve ourselves in efforts to hold back this epidemic, because it respects no boundaries of class, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, city, state, nation or region. This is an equal opportunity disease. No one, but no one, can afford to stand on the sidelines and claim that they have not felt its sting. If we can see this challenge as an opportunity to help each other worldwide, we can replace the epidemic of disease with the contagion of compassion. In the final analysis, we're all one people, one family, the human family."