Today is World AIDS Day. According to estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNAIDS, 33.2 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2007. That same year, some 2.5 million people became newly infected, and 2.1 million died of AIDS, including 330,000 children. Two thirds of HIV infections are in sub-Saharan Africa.
By far one of my favorite CDs is the first Red Hot & Blue compilation - then popular and classic singers (hello Iggy Pop and Debbie Harry together?) reinterpreted Cole Porter standards. The songs took on a new poignancy in light of the AIDS epidemic. It is often credited with being the first major effort in the music industry to raise awareness and funds for AIDS.
The CD came out in 1990 when an AIDS diagnosis was essentially a death sentence. Long before the "cocktails" (which one positive friend of mine begs that the drug combination not be referred to such a happy thing of alcohol) lengthened lives and the diagnosis became in theory an illness to manage, like diabetes. Although as we all know, the life-sustaining medicines are not available in many of the nations where HIV/AIDS is running rampant. For instance one out of every 10 adults in South Africa has the virus that causes AIDS.
This is my favorite track from this favorite CD. Annie Lennox singing Cole Porter's Every Time we Say Goodbye.
I wear on my winter coat a beaded red ribbon made by a positive woman from South Africa. This isn't something I think about one day a year but every day.
Now for a personal note to a friend. I'm so sorry you were in the hospital. Get better. I hate that you have this disease.
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