Today, December 1st, we observe “World AIDS Day”. Albeit more than 30 years have passed, the degradation of those with the HIV/AIDS disease still endures . In the beginning, AIDS triggered terror throughout the country. It was entitled the gay plague by the Moral Majority, because it was often found in homosexual men. The very pious proclaimed that it was a curse for being gay. They rejected those who had become ill, and claimed that God had also rejected them.Sadly, they successfully convinced a multitude, thus the stigma continues. We have come a long way, but in those days it was not tolerable to be gay, but without the least doubt, the coming of AIDS made things worse for those who had to endure this new disease.
Before we proceed, lets discuss what HIV/AIDS is, how it attacks your body, and what happens. The HIV virus attacks your DNA.
What your DNA does is code for proteins and self-replicate.The proteins in turn control and manage all other functions, such as metabolism, growth, reproductive cycles and the characteristics of the organism. DNA is the hereditary material in all organisms except few viruses [RNA is genetic material]. it is the one which transfers genetic information from one generation to another.it is the point of mutation [gene mutation – affect the phenotype or physiology of organism].it controls all the metabolic activities of the cell.it is the one which determines each and every characteristics of organism. Its a source of genetic information for the living organism . let it be human, animal, etc… it also transfers information to make other things other than protein like glucose enzymes
In effect Your DNA holds all the information that determines who you are, what you look like, what your heredity will be. HIV pretends to be your DNA by invading the nucleus of your cells, and acts as if it is the real DNA. It then begins to send orders to your other cells, thus…who you were created to be, ceases to be who you are. HIV is the most serious take over that you will ever hear of. All that you are is in your genes, and your genes are determined by your DNA. So, perhaps you were supposed to be a genius, but HIV sends a message to your cells saying otherwise. Then, it is the “otherwise” that will take place. Have a look at what HIV does to your DNA. It is almost like identity theft. Have a glance at this video. I urge you to seek more information about this disease. I have simplified matters…but the HIV virus is indeed complex.
Most untreated people infected with HIV-1 eventually develop AIDS. These individuals mostly die from opportunistic infections or malignancies associated with the progressive failure of the immune system. HIV progresses to AIDS at a variable rate affected by viral, host, and environmental factors; most will progress to AIDS within 10 years of HIV infection: some will have progressed much sooner, and some will take much longer. Treatment with anti-retrovirals increases the life expectancy of people infected with HIV. Even after HIV has progressed to diagnosable AIDS, the average survival time with antiretroviral therapy was estimated to be more than 5 years as of 2005. Without antiretroviral therapy, someone who has AIDS typically dies within a year. Wikipedia
To understand the ways in which HIV/AIDS-related S&D appear and the contexts in which they occur, we first need to understand how they interact with pre-existing S&D associated with sexuality, gender, race, and poverty (see Figure 1). HIV/AIDS-related S&D also interact with preexisting fears about contagion and disease. Early AIDS metaphors—as death, as horror, as punishment, as guilt, as shame, as otherness—have exacerbated these fears, reinforcing and legitimizing stigmatization and discrimination.
HIV/AIDS-related Stigma and Discrimination: A Conceptual Framework and an Agenda for Action by Richard Parker and Peter Aggleton ,with Kathy Attawell, Julie Pulerwitz, and Lisanne Brown
Now, fraught with the uppermost counts of HIV are, Latino’s, young black gay/bisexual men and trans-gender’s. The amount of African American women with the disease is steadily climbing. The conflict of ism’s gleefully raises it ugly head. Homophobia, racism, sexism , classism and being abandoned by your country make it a thorny path. God forbid that one should be homeless or poor. The stigma increases, and doors are closed. Those who are suffering often have a hard time finding housing and employment, realizing educational ambitions or maintaining general health. Without HIV prevention and support programs, there are few venues meant to meet their necessities and receive them despite the stigma. Elizabeth Taylor was a leader in the fight for the right of people with AIDS.
The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) was established by Elizabeth Taylor in 1991 to raise funds and awareness to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS, and to provide assistance for those living with the virus. With its focus on direct care and prevention education, ETAF provides funding to AIDS organizations throughout the world, providing support services to populations in need.
The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (1) supports organizations delivering direct care and services to people living with HIV/AIDS, and (2) supports organizations that provide education to the public regarding the AIDS virus and the prevention of AIDS. ETAF provides financial support for organizations and entities both within the United States and internationally.
ETAF supports existing organizations and entities that have exhibited integrity in managing their operations along with the knowledge and ability to expediently provide services or achieve other designated goals.
It has and is taking quite a lot of time for America to understand this disease. However, it required the power of well know spokes persons to get us this far. Elizabeth Taylor did a tremendous amount of work through her AIDS foundation. Nevertheless, most of us recognize the great contributions of Michael Jackson, on behalf of his friend, Ryan White. Nevertheless, the work that Dame Elizabet Taylor did through her AIDS Foundation is yet incomparable. She involved a multitude of artists in her work. Part of what energized her was the death of Rock Hudson. It was an extreme shock to the entire country. In the upcoming video, you will see how many people Ms. Taylor involved in her Foundation. In fact, the song that will be sung was written to AIDS victim’s.
Originally, Michael Jackson simply donated $500,000 to Dame Elizabeth Taylor’s Foundation. It took a personal experience for Michael Jackson to become involved with AIDS. After ward, Michael Jackson went across the world campaigning for the rights of AIDS victims. Most of us remember His performance before presidents elect Bill Clinton. However, his vocal campaign was for his young friend, Ryan White. Ryan White was an incredibly strong figher for the rights of people with AID during his short life. Following is a portion of his story.
My name is Ryan White. I am sixteen years old. I have hemophilia, and I have AIDS.
When I was three days old, the doctors told my parents I was a severe hemophiliac, meaning my blood does not clot. Lucky for me, there was a product just approved by the Food and Drug Administration. It was called Factor VIII, which contains the clotting agent found in blood.
While I was growing up, I had many bleeds or hemorhages in my joints which make it very painful. Twice a week I would receive injections or IV’s of Factor VIII which clotted the blood and then broke it down. A bleed occurs from a broken blood vessel or vein. The blood then had nowhere to go so it would swell up in a joint. You could compare it to trying to pour a quart of milk into a pint-sized container of milk.
The first five to six years of my life were spent in and out of the hospital. All in all I led a pretty normal life. Most recently my battle has been against AIDS and the discrimination surrounding it. On December 17, 1984, I had surgery to remove two inches of my left lung due to pneumonia. After two hours of surgery the doctors told my mother I had AIDS. I contracted AIDS through my Factor VIII which is made from blood. When I came out of surgery, I was on a respirator and had a tube in my left lung. I spent Christmas and the next thirty days in the hospital. A lot of my time was spent searching, thinking and planning my life.
I came face to face with death at thirteen years old. I was diagnosed with AIDS: a killer. Doctors told me I’m not contagious. Given six months to live a being the fighter that I am, I set high goals for myself. It was my decision to live a normal life, go to school, be with my friends, and enjoying day to day activities. It was not going to be easy.
Michael pressed on and campaigned hard for HIV/AIDS. He donate all of his money from the Dangerous tour to children with AIDS. He traveled all around the world.
The Heal the World Foundation was a charitable organization founded by entertainer Michael Jackson in 1992. The foundation’s creation was inspired by his charitable single of the same name. Through his foundation, Jackson airlifted 46 tons of supplies to Sarajevo, instituted drug and alcohol abuse education and donated millions of dollars to less fortunate children, including the full payment of a Hungarian child’s liver transplant. Failure to file yearly accounting statements saw the charity lose its tax exempt status in 2002 but it was re-gained, under new management, in 2008.
If you listen to the words of the song, you can hear Michael’s desire to help the children of the world. There are people dying, if you care enough for the living, make a better place. At an early age,Michael Jackson said he would not say it if he didn’t mean it. So far.I can see that it was true. Because of the work that the people before us did, the life of someone with AIDS can last far more than a year. The biggest example that we have is Magic Johnson. He is well, because now there is effective medication. More than this, he is happy.
“God is good,” Johnson said, speaking in front of a group of friends, family and media members on the Staples Center floor. “Here I am 20 years later. Wow. What a blessing.”
Johnson used the occasion of the 20th anniversary of his HIV announcement to present a $1 million check to the Magic Johnson Foundation, raised by 40 philanthropists close to Johnson who pledged $25,000 apiece.
“I’ve always been a leader my whole life,” Johnson said. “I’ve always led. I didn’t know how to do anything else. I never thought I had to lead in the HIV and AIDS community and be the face of the disease that is deadly and kills somebody … When God said this is how you’re going to lead today, I didn’t look back. I took it. And I’m happy I’ve been the face of this disease. The only problem is I would be happier if the numbers (affected by the disease) in the black and brown community would go down.
Johnson described the HIV virus as being “asleep in my body” and said he keeps the disease dormant by exercising every morning, maintaining a balanced diet and sticking to a drug cocktail of three pills, two times a day according to the L.A. Times.
Sadly, Elizabeth, Michael and Ryan are gone. Magic is here, we are here and many organizations are here. Michael wanted to motivate us to do our part. I want to do that. I want to help someone other than me. If I am blessed to go out and treat a friend, it usually cast about $50.00. I love going to nice restaurants. Yet, while I am sitting in a fancy restaurant, someone else is hungry. Half the time I don’t even eat the food. I just socialize. I am going to follow Michael’s advice. What a blessing it will be to help “Heal The World”. I hope you will join me.
Earlier this year we, MJJJP had as our charity, “The Lazarous Effect”. It is astounding what having the medicines has done for the people in Africa, Have a look. It is amazing.We can help! We can heal the world… if we focus and stick together.
It would not take much . We actually have the power to “Make that Change…” We are blessed. Lets share the blessing of life and hope. Do it for you, do it for them, do it for Michael.
Rev. Dr. Catherine M. Gross
I believe in my heart that the music community will come together as one and rally to the aid of thousands of innocent victims, … There is a tremendous need for relief dollars right now and through this effort each one of us can play an immediate role in helping comfort so many people.” Michael J. Jackson