I consider myself an intelligent person. I don't like to be wrong or uninformed. I hate feeling dumb or ignorant. That being said I must confess, I have been SOOO IGNORANT. Today is World Aids day. I've been learning a lot about HIV and Aids lately through Project Hopeful and through a book I read, There is No Me Without You by Melissa Fay Greene. I was shocked by some of the things I learned and it got me thinking, "What did I think about HIV?" and "How could I be so ignorant?!?!?" Here is the conclusion of what I used to think about HIV and AIDS.
I remember learning about HIV and AIDS as an STD in high-school. That was ten years ago and that's the last I remember thinking of it. If I had been forced to consider why I didn't hear about it any more here is what my conclusion would have been: HIV and AIDS is fatal but preventable so I guess we have all learned how to prevent it and those that already had it have died (harsh I know!) I know it's still an issue in some third world countries so I guess they lack the knowledge or ability to prevent the spread of the illness.
I wasn't all wrong. HIV and AIDS is totally preventable. HIV is only spread through sexual contact, shared needles, and from mother to baby during birth or breast feeding (although this is preventable!) However, it's not that HIV and AIDS are extinct in America. HIV is a chronic disease and very manageable through the use of ARV's (drugs). We still see HIV in third world countries because they cannot afford the drugs. That makes me so sad. These drugs are powerful things. Sometimes the disease can become undetectable in regular blood tests when using these drugs. I found out I even know someone with HIV that uses these drugs. Guess what? I would have had no clue had they not told me.
I can't believe how ignorant I was. Please don't let yourself be ignorant. Get the facts and see if you can help eradicate the HIV pandemic.