The lack of attention generated in America by World AIDS Day this week was astonishing. It’s a great sign and a horrible indicator all at once. I suggested a couple months ago that Americans don’t have the same level of fear about acquiring HIV since it no longer feels like the death sentence it once was. That’s just fantastic but HIV rates in the US are still MUCH higher than they need to be. While America has done a phenomenal job of reducing mother-to-child transmissions, virtually every other infection route is still clearly common. What I haven’t figured out is why there’s so little effort being made on this front.
There is an estimate that around 20% of people in the US living with HIV don’t even know it yet! More than a million Americans are likely HIV+ and we just seem kinda fine with that. This is a preventable disease! Somehow though, there’s not much public space for outrage, worry or even conversation.
PS- I was forwarded this post about celebs attempting to raise money for World AIDS Day. The effort was a disaster.