This Sunday, 17 May, is the 30 Year Anniversary of AIDS Walk New York. Despite advances in education and drug treatments there are still greater than 50,000 new infections each year nationwide. Global citizen and personal friend, Jack David Marcus who we are sponsoring in this Walk, voices alarming statistics for the AIDS threat here in the United States:
- Every 9 ½ minutes, someone in the U.S. is infected with HIV.
- Half of those infected with HIV are under the age of 24.
- 20% of those infected with HIV do not know it.
Although there are advanced drug treatments prolonging people’s lives, they do not work for everyone, are prohibitively expensive, and there is still no cure. Moreover, young people are becoming infected at alarmingly high rates.
The Global AIDS epidemic is a public health threat. We are failing our young people when HIV/AIDS is their second leading cause of death worldwide. Education and awareness are vital in Africa, East Asia, and Pacific. According to UNAIDS, HIV/AIDS is the number one cause of death in Africa affecting primarily young women. As of 2013, most of the 2.1 million adolescents living with HIV contacted the virus a decade prior from their pregnant mothers or in their early months. Anti-retroviral medicines were not yet available. Today, only 25% of the demographic group under 15 years have access to life saving equipment. (See: “See All In to End Adolescent AIDS.”)
HIV/AIDS has crossed all boundaries: geographic, demographic, gender, and professions. Celebrity activists like the late Elizabeth Taylor have done much to promote awareness. However, it is the global citizen through grassroots community efforts like the one in New York City this Sunday that remind those living with HIV that we are here to support them, their friends, and families.
If you would like to sponsor Jack David in his walk, please access link: https://ny.aidswalk.net/jackdavidmarcus Be sure to watch the video at this site: “30 Years & Still Fighting: AIDS Walk New York.” (Every donation will be matched @ 100% by MAC Cosmetics, and Funds raised through the AIDS Walk also fund vital prevention efforts that help stop the spread of HIV. Funds raised benefit GMHC and more than 40 other AIDS organizations in the tri-state area.)
By, Susan Sacirbey