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Monday, November 30, 2009


During the innocence of my youth I stumbled upon AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).
What I mean by this is that I was singing along to a song that I had no idea was about the disease until it was pointed out to me. Prior to that day I knew nothing of it.
I briefly contemplated the disease and then put it out of my mind. I didn't consider that it could or would ever touch on my life.
In the 80’s when I first heard of the disease there was limited information available for sufferers and even less for the general public.
Sometime later here in Australia around 1987 TV commercials began to appear featuring a haunting Grim Reaper to shock people into the realisation that HIV/AIDS was amongst us.

...here's the Grim Reaper commercial found on YouTube for you to view.

Be warned it's unpleasant.

To my knowledge, unfortunately for a long while that was the extent of the education and if you managed to watch the video you can clearly see that it wasn't going to be enough. It frightened us, it didn't educate us.
Ignorance about the disease is still at a high level.
In Australia it incorrectly appears that education in regards to HIV/AIDS is no longer prevalent, yet to my knowledge it is estimated that there are more than 25,000 people recorded living with HIV at this point in time. That’s a big chunk of people living with a contagious disease within a small population.

It is estimated that more than 25 million people have died worldwide since 1981 of AIDS

It is also estimated that there are over 30 million people living in the world today with HIV/AIDS
HIV has touched me personally...
No I’m not HIV positive, but someone very close to me is.
When I first received this news it was overwhelming and I felt devastated.
At the time it felt like the worse news possible...Mostly due to my ignorance.
I don’t think that there is any need for me to elaborate about the people I know living with HIV.
What I do want to emphasise is that we need to be talking about it with compassion and we do need to continue with HIV/AIDS education and awareness.
This is a disease that can be managed on many levels and that there is no valid reason for any human being to be suffering due to anothers ignorance and lack of compassion. Medication needs to be made affordable and available to everyone who needs it no matter where they are or who they are.

Big love to all of you who manage your disease and are sometimes forced to live with it as a secret in our so called educated society.

May the suffering end sooner than later with medication to be made available to everyone, everywhere.

I love you xoxo

Don't forget about those who are living with this disease and their loved ones.
Help yourself and others by being informed. Talk about it... ignorance is not bliss.


Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Great post, Ribbon. Here in the US we do not get as much information as we should. Of course television ads here would never remind people to use condoms or have one safe partner. Rather because of the religious right the word would be to abstain from sex until married... which is extremely naive.
When I taught school we had to be very careful of what we discussed in "sex education" classes. We could answer questions if children asked, but couldn't volunteer anything concrete in the way of HIV prevention. Sigh.

Holly said...

As always, Nice. I suppose that for me, who knew what life was like before this disease, and has had it now as a background in life....I don't think as much about it.

I am very happy that we have come so far to make it possible for those who are HIV positive to live with this issue. And, hopefully be there when/if a cure is found.

Reiki blessings on those you love who bravely live with this disease.

Baino said...

There are so many 'ribbon' days these days that I can't keep up. As far as I know the red ribbon day was the first of its kind and designed to 'educate' on aids. Crazy that we haven't come up with a cure yet then since most sufferers are in Africa where ignorance is rife, it's not surprising.

Renee said...

Ribbon this is incredibly important. Thank you for posting it.

Love Renee xoxo

staceyjwarner said...

I am so so so so so happy that you are back and now I am back! I missed you!

I lived in Seattle and everyone was dying of AIDS because of the large amount of gay men in the area. It was awful.

Now it seems to be forgotten but it is not...the disease is a problem...it doesn't only happen in Africa...

much love

Sophia said...

Ribbon, what a powerfully written post that we all need to hear. I just carried this conversation with a neighbor here about how we all used to hear about Aids in the early 80's, and now, you rarely hear about it at all.

Appreciate your bravery to stand up and talk about it.

Stoneweaver said...

Yes - it's been sort of forgotten about, hasn't it? I remember in the 1980s when Lady Diana went into hospitals and shook hands and touched people with AIDS. She did a lot to educate people and though people often dismiss her as an 'air head' - I think she did a majorly good thing there. We need someone high profile to talk about it – it hasn't gone away.

Indrani said...

I am sorry about your personal tragedy. Today's youth should be made aware of this problem. Sad but great video presented.

Joanna Jenkins said...

That is a great post Ribbon. Thanks for the reminder. It's important to keep the disease in the news so people stay informed.


Lori ann said...

Dear Ribbon,

that was a disturbing video, you were right.

i read a poignant article written by a prominant U.S. jounalist, who had Aids. His point was that there is such a stigma attached to the word Aids that he felt changing the name may lessen the ostrizing by ignorant people. i felt like he was right. of course education is the only way to control and prevent this brutal disease. i am so sorry for your friend. i am praying for a cure too.
love to you.
♥ lori

Angie said...

Great post, everyone needs reminding that AIDS is causing so much suffering all over the world.

lakeviewer said...

This is a great service, Ribbon. Yes, we need information and compassion.

Sharon said...


1 in 4 sexually active teenagers become infected with an STD every year, in the United States alone. Now, more than ever, we need to join together to fight this growing issue. As I read through your website, it is clear that you share the same passion for STD/STI awareness. We here, at Disease.com, understand the importance of STD/STI prevention and treatments. If you could, please list us as a resource or host our social book mark button, it would be much appreciated. We can not reach every teenager, but together we can try.
If you need more information please mail me with the subject line as your URL.

Thnak You,
Sharon Vegoe