Last Saturday was World AIDS day. This day is meant to bring those with AIDS and those without together, so we can all stand up against this disease. It originally started in 1988 and just so happened to be the first global health day. Millions have died from the disease, and millions more will if the current trend continues. We have lived in, and still live in a society were those who have acquired this disease are outcasted. This day reminds us that the people who have AIDS are a large population how we constantly do not help.
Currently policies rooting from the fear of the HIV/AIDS epidemic have been put into place. For example, originally only thought to have been a disease which affected those in the LGBT+ community, men who had sex with men could not give blood. Even though HIV/AIDS has been proven not to be only rooted in the LGBT+ community, blood donations cannot be made by any man who has had sexual contact with men. Discriminatory policies like this affect those who have the disease. Oxy Alum and lawyer Peggy Farrell fights for HIV/AIDS rights of workers.
Aritists have used their work to stand for AIDS awareness and to promote safe sex and raise awareness of these issues facing the HIV/AIDS community. However policy makers in the newly elected congress are in a prime position to create effective change towards this disease. With the passing of the affordable care act, medication cost will be lowered which could lead the way to advance treatments for the condition. Barbara Lee from California’s 9th District is heading legislation for the improvement of policies to break down stigmas and promote an active effort to help end AIDS.
This more progressive stance towards medical health reminds me of some systems which are in place in Canada. Sadly this connection will not be praised by those in the house who claim the country is going down a more “socialist” path. The anti-obamacare members of congress seem to be in a position to halt this legislation due to their opposition of radical healthcare reform. However many forget that this is a Bipartisan issue. George W. Bush gave more funding towards AIDS with PERFAR. Hopefully one day AIDS, will become a prominent issue America is ready to address.