WA_Day2008It’s the time of year again when we witness much of the world’s attention (or so I hope) turned towards HIV/AIDS and the many challenges it has brought to millions around the world. Though ARCHIVE is often mistakenly described as an AIDS organization, the members have agreed to place the pandemic at the forefront of our work. As organizations and governments continue to meet the challenges brought on by the disease, my hope for the year ahead is that we increasingly include if not prioritize attention to the root causes of the pandemic: poverty.
We have known for sometime that HIV/AIDS is much more than a public health issue. Therefore we run the risk, even over dinner conversations, of negating discussions about poverty which is exponentially more endemic than HIV/AIDS.
World AIDS Day 2008 is marked by steady and encouraging reports over the past year that many countries have finally began to experience a tapering and in many cases, a slowing of prevalence rates. Other cases highlight recent admissions that previous estimates for HIV cases in India had been exaggerated and actual figures suggest a prevalence rate in the country of 2.7 million. While these declines point to a host of reasons, it is certainly not time to be complacent. What remains true: i) one in every three persons globally is exposed to TB resulting 2 million deaths each year and; ii) 8 out of every 10 persons exist on less than US10 a day: both attendants of HIV/AIDS.