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Thursday, November 17, 2011

HIV/AIDS: New Strategies — for the government and you too

Considering how monumental and devastating the impact of HIV/AIDS — particularly in the developing world — has been allowed to be, we feel cautiously optimistic about the US government’s recent announcement of a new strategy to “creating an AIDS-free generation.”

Normally, we would receive such statements the same way we would those of an overly confident ten year old announcing her intention to run for president — polite smiles all around — but it seems that this time, the Americans intend to put some well-researched policies into play.

The new approach is three-pronged: ‘eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV, scaling up male circumcision procedures and expanding early treatment for people living with HIV and AIDS – offered a combination prevention strategy that would help reach the goal of having virtually no child born with HIV within three years.’ If these initiatives can be properly funded, they stand a chance of making a real impact.

For our part, we continue to focus on the devastation left behind by generations who weren’t helped very effectively. There is still an epidemic of orphans in Africa, and they need to be given a chance to succeed, despite facing the worst odds handed out to a human at this stage of history.

For people living in the greater Vancouver area and the Lower Mainland, we are hosting a film night devoted to the 2 million orphans now living in Ethiopia at the Heritage Grill at 447 Columbia St. in New Westminster on Saturday, November 27th. It will be a good opportunity to become part of the solution. As always, regardless of what governments deign to do for the poorest and most vulnerable people, we are quite clear in what we are able to do.

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