Category: HIV/AIDS Activists

HIVS/AIDS in Pregnant Women in Sub-Saharan Africa

In North America, the general population is fairly educated about the HIV/AIDS epidemic; however, this is not the case on the African continent. HIV/AIDS is generally transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse, contaminated blood transfusions, and used hypodermic needles. Prevention is possible, but there is no definite cure. Roughly sixty percent of all AIDS victims are women, and they are twice as likely to contract HIV through heterosexual intercourse than a man – the main cause of transmission in Sub-Saharan Africa. Women often face the problem of becoming pregnant while infected with AIDS. A study from 2009 states that close to thirty percent of South African pregnant women were living with HIV – a figure which has barely shifted over the past few years. Women infected with HIV/AIDS live very difficult lives while faced with discrimination and the possibility of passing on the virus to their children.

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Living with HIV/AIDS – A Story From Ethiopia

"It is the hope that people gave me by befriending me, accepting me and letting me know, with kind words, that I too could be happy"

Looking at Sarah* today, it would be hard to imagine that she is a person living with HIV/AIDS. Her lively, bubbly outlook belies the stigmatization that most of the people living with HIV have to endure day after day. The healthy look that she now exudes belies the fear that used to come when people saw her rapid loss of weight.

People tended to talk when they saw someone lose weight drastically. Before the disease was named ‘HIV/AIDS’ by western medicine, Africa had different names that were usually variations of the rapid weight lose that ensued once patients were infected. For example, in Uganda it was called ‘Slim Disease’ and in Ethiopia it was ‘Amenminé’ (Amharic for ‘that which shrivels’). Read More

The Lazarus Effect – How $0.40/day Can Help Save A Life

Researchers have been referring to it  as The Lazarus Effect, the amazing beneficial changes that antiretroviral drugs can bring to an HIV/AIDS patient. Many things count in controlling the global HIV/AIDS pandemic – proper diagnosis, prevention, and education are all crucial, but access to treatment is key. The Lazarus Effect is a brilliant documentary showing us that with just two antiretroviral pills/day, health can be restored in a dying person.

Sponsored by the RED campaign, The Lazarus Effect follows four people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and takes us on a journey as they regain their health. In developed countries like the US & Canada, HIV/AIDS is a manageable disease because treatment is made readily available. But to an African that survives on less than $1.25/day, life can be a tragically different story. HIV/AIDS has killed more than 20 million people in Africa, and yet it continues to be a preventable and treatable disease. For just $0.40/day, a life can be saved. The Lazarus Effect shows us that this can be the case. Don’t wait to see how you can get involved, watch the 30-minute documentary today.

Remembering Elizabeth Taylor – HIV/AIDS Activist

Elizabeth Taylors - AIDS Activist, Relentless Crusader, Pioneer and Hero

Elizabeth Taylor — a great and courageous ally, friend and champion — has passed and we stop for a moment today to honor her courage and activism on behalf of so many of us.

When she first began speaking out about HIV/AIDS in the early 1980s, there was still a great deal of mystery, fear and stigma surrounding the disease. She was the first really big celebrity to use her fame to advocate for better public health policy, and to raise funds for HIV/AIDS treatment, services and research.

While she started local, appearing at the first major AIDS benefit for AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), in 1985 she joined forces with Dr. Mathilde Krim and went on to become the founding international chairperson of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amFAR).

It was a time when thousands of people became devastatingly ill and died rapid and horrible deaths, and yet the silence from our government was deafening. In those dark times, Elizabeth Taylor used the light of her celebrity to draw mainstream media attention to the government’s failure to respond to the AIDS crisis. She boldly stood with us to urge public support for better treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS. In those days, before e-mail, texting, Facebook and Twitter, her voice had a powerful ripple effect that helped make the world more aware of this growing health crisis. Read More

A Vitalwave Summary

Vitalwave™ is a medical device designed to disinfect the birthing canal at the time of delivery to prevent or to reduce the rate of HIV and STI (gonorrhea, GBS, HPV, chlamydia, syphilis) transmission from mothers to their infants (MTCTP). Vitalwave™ disinfection is a low cost, easy-to-administer procedure designed for use in developing countries where Mother-to-Child HIV & STI transmission is high. More than 90% of children with HIV were infected by their mothers. Of the 17.7 million women living with HIV around the world, 74% do not seek treatment & education to prevent HIV transmission to their unborn child. This sad reality results in 1,600 children becoming infected with HIV every day, or one child every minute1. Vitalwave™ is designed to bypass the stigma associated with AIDS and reliance on patient compliance by providing safe and instant disinfection at the time of delivery. Given the limited time and effort involved with this treatment, Vitalwave™ is ideal for universal deployment (for use with all deliveries) in the Third World.

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