Monday, December 11, 2006

How Many People in Your Family have AIDS?

How many people have you met who have HIV or AIDS? Do you have anyone in your family with HIV or AIDS? Have you ever cared for someone who has AIDS? HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. You will not see "HIV" but you will see AIDS because of how it destroys the immune system. ( If you have HIV and any of a list of about 24 designated Center for Disease Control opportunistic infections, then you have AIDS. )

In the United States, we are blessed with the money and the ability to treat someone with HIV. As a matter of fact, someone with HIV in the United States has every chance to live a normal life span with treatment. Furthermore, we have the money and medicine to prevent HIV from passing from mother to child.

In Kenya, there is little money to treat HIV, and less money to treat someone once AIDS begins. As a result of this, many parents who have HIV die by the time they are 30 yr.s old. Mothers rarely even know if they have HIV until the AIDS breaks out. Therefore they infect their babies with HIV. Then the cycle has begun.

The "victims" of HIV/AIDS are often wives\mothers and the children they bear. When the parents die, the tragedy left behind is the millions of Orphans, referred to as AIDS Orphans. When I was in Africa in October, every person I met inside and outside of the church was caring for AIDS Orphans. It is amazing to hear story after story of brothers and sisters taking care of younger orphaned brothers and sisters. Aunts and uncles, grandparents, and friends moving orphaned relatives into their homes. It is such a heart-breaking experience to listen to people tell their story.

Please consider helping out these young victims.