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My Experience: My first experience with AIDS was when I was 12. My mom’s best friend named Patrick, who we called Pat contracted the virus back in the day when everyone thought it was a “gay” disease. If you haven’t guessed Pat was gay and he contracted the virus from his boyfriend who wasn’t faithful. Pat was disowned by his family, and my mom was a single mother, so Pat would help my mom by sometimes looking after me. My fondest memory of him was when he and Jim, his lover, took me to see the Care Bear’s Movie, and I remember people staring at these two white men holding hands with a little black girl. I’m sure that was strange. Anyway Pat died from complications of AIDS. My mom wanted to teach me first hand, what the disease was like, and what it meant to die from complications of AIDS. Back then there was no real treatment, and death was painful because your body literally shut down after fighting off so many infections and viruses. Pat will be loved and missed, but when he contracted it, there wasn’t a lot of information.

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Blog Experience: I often come across some unique people while blogging, and one of the most unique persons I have met online is Miss Jia. She is funny, but more importantly, she believes in charity. On her blog today she posted a video. The video shows Miss Jia at a clinic getting tested for HIV/AIDS. There are not many people who would put their own business online so that others can learn, but I tell you that’s what makes her unique. Watch the video below and get TESTED:

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World Experience: HIV/AIDS is real, and it’s preventable with the right education. It’s also disease that you can live with if provided with proper medication. However, cities and towns hit hardest are those that are the poorest. Sub-Sahara Africa makes up 67% of all HIV/AIDS cases, and 72% of all deaths. Unfortunately, many of these countries lack the resources to treat those with the disease or educate them in order to prevent the spread of the disease. If we do nothing the picture below is the reality that many Africans and others living in poverty face: Donate Here

@Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 72 percent of AIDS-related deaths with 1.4 million in 2008.

@An estimated 1.9 million people were newly infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa in 2008, bringing to 22.4 million the number of Africans living with HIV.

@Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region most heavily affected with 91 percent of all new infections among children.

@By the end of 2008, 44 percent of adults and children in the region in need of anti-retroviral therapy had access to treatment. Five years earlier, the regional treatment coverage was only 2 percent.

We can help turn this number around, all it takes it’s a little of your time or a little of your money. You can read more about global initiatives targeted at fighting AIDS globally by going to UNAIDS.org.

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Your Experience: If you have HIV/AIDS you can still live a full and healthy life. The advances in medication have made it possible for people to live with the disease, but the only catch, you have to get TESTED. If you don’t have the disease make sure you educate yourself and practice abstinence or safe sex. New York Times has an article, entitled The Voices of AIDS and H.I.V. The article is about real people living with HIV/AIDS, and if you didn’t see their picture next to the words HIV, you would never know they were inflicted with the disease. Take the time to read their stories.

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The Faces of AIDS and H.I.V. (Perry Baker, Ken Cedeno, Josh Ritchie and David Goldman for The New York Times, James Estrin/The New York Times)

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