How many more innocent children have to die???

A Closer Walk

The documentary that changed my life.

A Closer Walk is the first oral history created of the AIDS epidemic.

HIV can only affect humans. It is a Human Immunodeficiency Virus, unlike other viruses like the “flu” the body can not clear itself from the virus with time.

AIDS stands for Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome. It is the final stage of HIV and without medical intervention and treatment it may lead to the person’s death.

HIV/AIDS has been around since the 1980s. The first time AIDS came to light in the United States was on June 5, 1981. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published cases of a rare lung infection, Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia, in five previously healthy, young gay men, from Los Angeles. All of the men had other unusual infections linked to the “infection.” There is still no cure for the virus and prevention methods have not been as effective as expected.

A recent study done by the HIV Prevention Trials Network showed the number of black women getting infected is nearly the same as some women in African countries. Specifically, in low-income communities in parts of the U.S. such as Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, Newark, Harlem and the Bronx in New York City. This has been a very shocking finding. The findings were presented at the 19th Conference of Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections.

“We have known that black women in the U.S. are disproportionately impacted by HIV, however, the magnitude of this disparity in areas hardest hit by the HIV epidemic underscores the gravity of the problem,” Study Chair Dr. Sally Hodder of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School said in a statement.

Three of Detriot’s zip codes have a HIV prevalence rate of six percent, nearly the Ugandan rate in 2009 of 6.5 percent.

The New York Times, published on Thursday, a setback on a AIDS medication given to healthy uninfected African women to protect themselves from getting the virus. Many of the women given the medication were not taking the pill and were still getting infected.

Aids.gov reports there are 33.4 million people currently living with HIV/AIDS. More than 25 million people have died from the disease.

AIDS/HIV does not discriminate and may affect anyone regardless of age, race, gender, religion, etc. It affects different people from all over the world everyday. Innocent children from all ages are dying from this disease. Many of them live in low-income communities or countries.

According to AVERT, over 1,000 children are newly infected with HIV every day. More than half will die because of a lack of HIV treatment. A child is infected from a HIV positive mother during pregnancy, labor, delivery or breastfeeding. The transmission could be avoided with proper treatment options, but many of the low-income countries such as sub-Saharan Africa; lack funding, clinics, medicine and/or preventive measures/education to help the mother or child from contacting the disease in the first place.

Knowledge is a powerful thing!

This disease has been around for 29 years and yet there is no cure and not enough help throughout the world to contain the disease from spreading.

After seeing A Closer Walk, two years ago, I decided I was going to pay closer attention to this horrible disease killing innocent children and mothers who had no say in what was about to happen to their body. I suggest everyone takes some time to watch the documentary. It is very well done and I can almost guarantee that after viewing it your life will also be impacted. Watch it for yourself and for mankind! Get involved, educate others, protect yourself and get tested. -CV

Resources: Original Study, NewsFeed Researcher, Acloserwalk.org, The New York Times article