World AIDS Day 2010: A Rekindling of Awareness

Today, December 1, 2010, is World Aids Day, a day of remembrance, awareness, and reverence.   Across the nation there are exciting events taking place to commemorate today.  While most people are talking about awareness and education, I have decided to blog about a different aspect of prevention.  According to the United Nations AIDS Program (UNAIDS), the recent successes in  the fight  against HIV/AIDS coupled with the increase longevity in the lifespan of people who are infected have sparked, what some researchers have named, “HIV Fatigue .“    At first glance, the words could easily be mistaken for an actual symptom of the disease; however, HIV Fatigue refers to the epidemic of the general public becoming less attuned to messages of prevention.

It is easy to fall into the mantra of feeling like HIV/AIDS will not affect you.  Much of discussion around the issue focuses on the continent of Africa and other impoverished regions. This is not surprising since sub-Saharan African countries are home to two-thirds of all HIV-positive people in the world.

Also, the contraction of the virus is no longer a death sentence as people are now living longer and healthier lives.  Therefore the1980’s and 1990’s notions of HIV/AIDS as the “killer” disease have lost their sense of urgency to many.