By Frances Lee, The Smart Show
Yesterday was the 23rd annual World’s Aids Day with the theme ‘Getting To Zero’ in hope of eliminating the disease by the year 2015.
I was surprised to see Barack Obama speak during this event and even more surprised to hear his shoutout to former president Bush for his ‘bold leadership on this issue’.
“I believe that history will record the President’s Emergancy Plan for Relief as one of his greatest (or greater?) legacies. And that program even more ambitious than leading advocates thought was possible at the time has saved thousands and thousands and thousands of lives,” said Obama during ‘The Beginning of the End’ even. “If you could imagine we were talking about the real possibility of an AIDS free generation, but thats why we are here.”
President Obama spoke of about the declining deaths and rate of infection of AIDS around the world yet America’s rate has held steady for the past decade.
“When new infections increase by black gay men increase by 50% in three years, we need to do more to show their lives matter,” Obama said. “When Latino’s are dying sooner than other groups and black women feel forgotten when they account for most of the new cases amongst women, than we’ve got to do more.”
Currently there are 1.2 million Americans living with HIV today yet there is still no vaccine or cure for HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).
In 1987, after decades of silence among doctors and HIV patients, President Reagan finally said the words AIDS in public during a speach on why the government should not provide sex education information.
On April 2, 1987, Reagan said: “How that information is used must be up to schools and parents, not government. But let’s be honest with ourselves, AIDS information can not be what some call ‘value neutral.’ After all, when it comes to preventing AIDS, don’t medicine and morality teach the same lessons.”
AIDS awareness has come quite a bit since the 80’s considering sex-ed wasn’t allowed in school.
1987 AIDS Commercial from Australia
Please view the AIDS commercial clip from 1987 to see how far we have come.