|The Impact of HIV/AIDS on Children, Families and Communities: Risks and Realities of Childhood during the HIV Epidemic (UNDP, 1998, 11 p.)|
If the common goal is to end the global epidemic then it is time to look at the problem beyond a focus on the virus, as it exists within the human body, and to find ways to alter the social and economic environment that enable it to flourish. It is time for global education not only about HIV/AIDS but also about the social context of underdevelopment and poverty that engulfs many of those communities which also have the highest rate of infection. It is time for human society to work at all levels to develop ways to find lasting solutions to the right problems. Finding treatments that protect babies from infection or that add years to the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS is a brilliant first step and has saved children from infection and restored life and hope to many infected people. Such improvements must continue. However, this progress is grossly inaccessible where most needed. If, one day, a vaccine for HIV and cure for AIDS are developed, they must be available to the developing world.
Even then, will enough have been accomplished if the spread of HIV is halted, but the human suffering that provided fertile ground for the epidemic in the first place is allowed to continue until the next virus that might get the world's attention?