Posts Tagged ‘World AIDS Day’

World AIDS Day

Well, it was thirty years ago that we first gave a name and formalized recognition of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It was too many years later before President Reagan could bring himself to utter the word while legions died. So much was misunderstood. I volunteered at the AIDS Hotline phone bank in Los Angeles (no Internet in every home or every lap then) and it was harrowing–both the terror of the unknown, and the misinformation and misunderstanding of what WAS known. We’ve come a long way, Baby…but have a hell of a lot further to go. has launched a new campaign today, World AIDS Day, to try and get agreement from the world to bring an end to AIDS by 2015. They are launching a new online AIDS Quilt, and you can make a panel here to add your voice, creativity, memories, and most importantly, support to the effort. (I know we don’t have discretionary income any more, but this matters so much. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria just announced a few days ago that it has to cut funding to new programs to fight AIDS in needy countries, since donations have dropped off so precipitously.)

Please find a way to get involved, today and going forward. Here are some service/volunteer ideas to get you started from the office of the White House focused on AIDS education and prevention, a division of the office of Health and Human Services.

While treatments take away the grim reaper for many people who now live with AIDS instead of dying from AIDS, it is not cured, statistics show only about 20% of those infected with HIV are getting treatment that actually lessens their viral load (because only one in five who HAS HIV infection has been tested and KNOWS they are infected), and millions are dying all the time who cannot afford medicines. We can make it go away, not only in our lifetimes, but in our near future–but only with your help. We have arrived–it is the Beginning of the END of AIDS.

Radio Silence: Celebs Logging Off for Charity

Alicia Keys BUY LIFE

If you’ve followed this blog, you know I am a huge Alicia Keys fan…her music is fantastic, and her charity work with Keep a Child Alive rocks your/my/our world. It’s also going to rock the Twitasphere and facebook universe on December 1, World AIDS Day.

On that day, an international day of remembrance, Alicia has persuaded several of her famous pals to forego any Twitter feed updates or facebook postings–to go digitally dark–until the charity has raised one million dollars. It may be hard for those addicted to telling their fans each time they eat a sandwich, but Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Seacrest, Willow and Jaden Smith, Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Jennifer Hudson, Katie Holmes, Usher, and Serena Williams have all signed on. It isn’t just staying away from the iPad, but many of the celebs are doing a public service campaign appearing in coffins, signifying their “digital death” and how they can only survive if you “buy life” to resurrect them. It is a bold and attention-grabbing parallel to the work being done by Keep a Child Alive and this December 1 BUY LIFE program.

Keep A Child Alive buys more than just the pills needed to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa and India. It buys the essential nutrition, shelter, support and education to help ensure those pills are taken properly and effectively. It buys the things we all take for granted, but that make all the difference. A bed. A roof. A ride. A book. A smile. KCA offers children, their families and entire communities a shoulder to lean on and a heart that beats for them. Because KCA believes we can do something far bigger and better than buy the ability to live. We can buy the dignity that is life. We can buy compassion. Buy love. Buy the cure. Buy life.

World AIDS Day

December 1 is World AIDS Day…each year…sadly, still this year.

While here in the United States, AIDS has become, largely, a treatable disease, in Africa and many developing nations, it is still a certain death sentence. Millions and millions die. Their deaths from AIDS-related disease can be prevented. Children could still have parents instead of being orphaned. Suffering could be alleviated. There is still no cure, but there is treatment—and the only barrier to getting that treatment to everyone, is money.

If you are unable to do anything the other 364 days a year, please, today, do something. There is a huge array of wonderfully effective HIV/AIDS organizations focusing on education, care, treatment, research, all elements of life LIVING with AIDS. One of them is calling to you. Listen. Find them. Make a difference.

One of my favorite charitable organizations in the world is Keep a Child Alive. For just a dollar a day, you can do exactly that. As co-founder and Global Ambassador Alicia Keys says, “We have a human family, a global family, and we have to pay attention.” Keep a Child Alive: ”

It starts and ends with the actions of people
We are witnessing the complete annihilation of entire communities of people. Human beings like you and and me, infected with the deadliest virus known to man: AIDS. Spreading uncontrollably from person to person, the virus has led to the deaths of millions of fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. The most affected are children. This devastating disease has created over 13 million orphans in Africa alone. This has become a race against time, not just for Africa but for the entire human race…

and yet the virus can be stopped
by donating as little as a dollar a day, we can provide life-saving medication, support and orphan care to keep these children and families alive. 100% of your donation will go directly to this cause.

Orphan Dinners and World AIDS Marathon

Richard Brodsky is a pretty tenacious guy, as committed to raising awareness and reaching out to others as he is committed to his own well-being. A brain cancer survivor and man living with HIV, Brodsky formed his own foundation (Richard Brodsky Foundation) and each year travels to Kenya to helm the World AIDS Marathon in Kisumu, Kenya. The foot race not only brings attention and is a terrific fund-raising activity for those in Kenya living with HIV/AIDS, but Brodsky and his wife, with their Kenyan partners, have expanded the events to include wonderful dinner/dances with hundreds of orphans in the area, filling hungry bellies that aren’t often full. The foundation also purchases and ships a large amount of seeds and seedlings so the orphans and their caretakers can plant and grow their own vegetables to bring better possibilities for nutrition throughout the year.

Last year’s marathon got some extra attention because the race was officially started when Mama Sarah (pictured above in blue), Barack Obama’s Kenyan grandmother, waved a flag. The marathon takes place each year on December 1, World AIDS Day, and the orphan dinners (for 600 orphans) are on November 29 and 30. It may be a bit late to book yur own travel to Kenya, but as you’re thinkig of all the things for which you are grateful this holiday, and giving thanks, think about giving support to this grassroots foundation and their tireless work on behalf of others.

– mail a check to Richard M. Brodsky Foundation, 1247 Mara Court, Atlantic Beach, NY 11509 or
– visit the Foundation website and click on the PayPal link or
– alternately you can make your donation by visiting World AIDS Marathon and click on the Donate link.