Our Kids Are Our Future – Let’s Give Them A Fighting Chance

In this world of wars and economic crisis it is easy to think that we have it really bad. We might think that our woes are the worst; and we might even think that just because we’ve lost our jobs the world is coming crashing down on us. Those of us with offspring to nourish and nurture will think that we are failed parents and go on to paint a gloomy future for our children.

Yes, that is not a good thing for our children to have to live through. And yes, no parent would want to live a life where his or her child had to suffer for lack of a square meal, a roof overhead or an education to get ahead in life. A parent faced with these obstacles in life, caused by matters he or she cannot control, would find it hard to excuse him- or herself. And yet, there is one big obstacle that is put in children’s lives before they are even born, giving them an unfair start to life: they are continuing to be infected with HIV/AIDS, usually transmitted from their mothers.

The deadliest weapon HIV/AIDS has is probably the fact that it takes advantage of our ignorance. Not knowing enough about it, even when great discoveries have been made about the cause and preventions of the disease, is one of the reasons it has been able to cut a large swath through our masses. The other, and unforgivable, reason is the fact that those who actually know of the prevention of mother-to-child-transmission (PMTCT) sit on their hands and do nothing about it.

While there may be a reason or an argument put forward that the babies born and subsequently infected with the disease in the 80s or 90s was due to the fact that the parents didn’t know better, there is no excuse today when we live in a world where almost every part of the globe is covered by one media outlet. And even worse, there are no excuses that can be put forward to the person that lets an HIV positive mother have a baby without informing her of simple regimens that can be taken to prevent mother-to-child transmission (MTCT).

We owe it to ourselves and the future of humanity, our kids, to give each child of an HIV positive mother whether born in Africa, Asia, Europe or the Americas a guarantee to a start in life with as little burden as possible – especially when we can prevent them. Because, ultimately what affects one part of the globe carries on a wave that can cross oceans and deserts reminding us that we are all in the same boat. A child in Africa suffering because of his mother’s not knowing about PMTCT is a pain that should grasp at hearts all over the world. Let us be fair to our children: those of us that know about mother-to-child transmission of HIV should share our knowledge if we are all going to have a fighting chance against this formidable enemy of mankind.

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