Following below the first part of facts and thoughts on AIDS that most people don’t know:
- In 2006 there are now about 40 Million people living with AIDS and about 25 Million have already died.
- There are more African doctors working in Europe than on the whole African continent.
- There is still no cure or vaccination available against AIDS, it is fatal.
- Too many people are still thinking about “us” and “them” when relating to Aids. We are not dying, they are.
- The majority of the money provided by the G-8 states to fight AIDS is currently used to fund governments in countries most affected. Many of those countries / governments are considered to be the most corrupt in the world and only a limited amount of the funds received is used to fight AIDS. The eight richest countries or better to say the administrations of them are fully aware of this fact but – similar to the trade with letters of indulgence in medieval times – will continue with this practice as long as the public buys into their message that they are fighting AIDS.
- Illiteracy often contributes to the spread of AIDS and other diseases. Millions of children and adolescents are unable to go to school in Africa. Changing that would cost less than what Europeans spend on dog and cat food every year.
- In Southern Africa (Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe) the average life expectation while continuously rising until then is dropping drastically since the 1990s. While in 1990 the life expectation in Botswana was around 65 years it’s now around 30 years.
- What is mostly considered by many as a chronic disease in the rich part of the world is undoubtedly deadly in poor countries.
- AIDS has become a multi-billion industry where enormous profits are made.
- An AIDS victim in developing countries can be treated for as little as a few hundred dollars a year but many thousand dollars of rich countries’ tax payers money are currently needed to reach one patient. Ask your government what happens with the majority of the funds.
- There is a strong link between poverty and AIDS and almost all experts are aware of this since many years. While more is said about this recently and memorandums are published yet till today besides some small pilot projects there is still separation and almost no coordination in the majority of aid towards these two issues.
- Like with the two other big pandemics – Malaria and Tuberculosis – experts know that innovation or at least doing things differently is needed to succeed. But in the same way as with those diseases governments leave it to bureaucrats that with hundreds of agencies over the last decades have again proven that the first thing they want to get rid of is innovations. And that’s about their track record of success.
- Far too much that happens in the fight against AIDS outside developed countries can best be described as opaque similar to the world-wide arms trade.
- 01-December-2006: World AIDS Day
- Henning Mankell: I Die, But My Memory Lives On
- Africa: The size of a continent
- Granta: How (not) to write about Africa
Today is World AIDS Day and we want to contribute by publishing some stories and thought on the matter that often get less attention than needed. We will also point you to some sources and facts that are not so popular with those that have been put in charge by our governments to fight this pandemic worldwide…
Most of us might know Henning Mankell for his Wallander crime novels but he has recently also published a non-fiction book on AIDS in Africa. The book is called “I Die, but My Memory Lives on: The World AIDS Crisis and the Memory Book Project”. Mankell who spent a substantial amount of his life in Africa, has with the “Memory Book Project” provided an opportunity to those dying of AIDS to create a record of their lives in words and pictures for the children they leave behind…
Many identify Africa with less-developed countries, disease and war ridden…
…but what almost all forget is the sheer size of that continent that will never allow one-size-fits all approaches. The map below provides a better understanding of the size by overlaying it with some of the largest countries in the world and whole continents…
UK magazine Granta has a great article online describing how many writers are exploiting cliches and stereotypes when writing about Africa. It is titled How to write about Africa and written by celebrated Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina. Worth reading Some quotes:…Always use the word ‘Africa’ or ‘Darkness’ or ‘Safari’ in your title. Subtitles may include [...]