World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS Day, a day to raise global awareness about an epidemic that strikes millions of people worldwide. More than 1,000 babies are born with HIV every day. The UN reports that there has been some progress in combating HIV and AIDS, but in 2010 there were still 1.8 million AIDS-related deaths. According to the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS, 75 percent of young people in Africa living with HIV are female.

While the costs for treatment have fallen from about $1110 in 2004 to around $335 today, activists have noted that this is still too expensive for people and governments in the developing world.

There is one way to easily invest in prevention. Yep, you probably guessed it, education. Specifically, girls education. Educated girls are more likely to get tested and take measures to prevent HIV/AIDS. Additionally, education provides girls with literacy skills that can help them seek treatment and find resources for themselves and others. A recent UNICEF paper noted that, “Women constitute the majority of the world’s poorest. Their lack of access to life skills-based education, economic resources and opportunities deem them vulnerable to infection.”

Food security, safety, exploitation, and domestic instability are part of the everyday world for the children More than Me helps. Some of our girls have admitted to selling themselves because they needed money for food. Many of the children in our program have illiterate parents, or guardians that struggle to provide the barest of necessities. We don’t have all of the answers. The way our students shine in everything they do is amazing when you consider the problems they face. By focusing on education, we hope that we can give them the skills to succeed despite the odds.

World AIDS Day is a great opportunity to learn. Education doesn’t just mean sending girls to school. Share this infographic. Check out the World AIDS Day website. Volunteer with a local testing center. Ask how you can get involved. Knowledge is power. Global awareness campaigns are a good time to remember that despite all of our differences, we all share the same space.

World AIDS Day