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Autor: anton 04 December 2010
Words: 679 | Pages: 3
Imagine living a life filled with misery and death. Every morning, you get up and have breakfast with your husband and children. One of the children at the table is already doomed to die in infancy. During your routine trip to work, you notice a teenager living alone caring for his younger siblings. He has no food, shelter, or source of income. You then notice a man who is desperately sick and has no access to a doctor, clinic, medicine, food, shelter, or even clothing. After a few hours of hard work, you eat lunch with your colleagues. Every other colleague is already fatally ill. Your Sunday afternoons generally consist of funerals and a visit to your best friend who is infected by "the death plague." Each night you go to bed fearing adults your age will not live into their 40s. Everyone you know including yourself and your neighbors and your political leaders act as if nothing is happening.
Across all of Africa, this nightmare is in fact a reality. The word that is usually never spoken in this country is AIDS, and here in the middle of humanity's deadliest cataclysm, the ultimate tragedy is that so many people do not know Ð’â€” or do not want to what is happening.
As the HIV virus sweeps mercilessly through these lands, a few try to address this terrible disease. Upon hearing of this death virus, the rest of society looks away. Flesh and muscle melt from the bones of the sick in packed hospital districts. Corpses stack up in morgues until those on top crush the identity of the faces underneath. Raw earth mounds scar the landscape: grave after grave without names or numbers. Young children grieve for their parents who were lost in their prime.
AIDS kills some 6,000 people each day in Africa. This toll on life is much higher than any war, famine, or flood. Millions of children become orphans because their parents could not survive this silent killer. In Africa, approximately 25 million people suffer from AIDS while the rest of the world has fewer than 10 million cases. So why do we continue to let one continent tolerate this disease? Breaking the silence is the first way our generation needs to combat this disease. Sadly, most Africans have never even heard of AIDS much less know what it actually is. The first way to combat AIDS is to prevent the spread of the virus through education. Our government can play an important role in this by funding a program that educates a large majority of the population. The second way to combat AIDS is by offering treatment to those who are infected. Currently, the treatment can only be purchased by the upper and middle-class citizens in Africa due to its high price. Most citizens are not of those classes and therefore require assistance from other developed nations or companies. American pharmaceutical industries can help by offering African nations treatments through the use of loans. Offering just $1 billion over the next 5 years would be enough to treat millions of suffering Africans.
Helping combat this disease will be by no means easy; however, it will benefit much of the world in the end. It is not right to sit down and let an entire continent suffer from this virus. The developed world is largely silent just like several African countries, so we are also the ones to be blamed. We pay sporadic attention to this disease, turning on the spotlight when an international conference occurs, and then turning it off. Good-hearted donors donate; governments acknowledge that more needs to be done. The problem is that there is too much talk and not enough action. We must devise a plan to help out Africa and put an end to the suffering. We are the generation that needs to halt humanity's greatest crisis.
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