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World AIDS Day 2005

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As is customary on this date each year, I create a page in the color of mourning to mark International World AIDS Day. Today is the day to remember those we have lost to the pandemic, to give thanks for the inspiration we get from survivors, to show gratitude to researchers, doctors and caregivers – and to rededicate ourselves to the cause of ending HIV and AIDS by volunteering, by donating to worthy organizations, by participating in activism and politics.

The following news items address World AIDS Day and the ongoing crisis. Please read them and inform yourself. And light a candle for mourning, for remembrance, for hope, for a cure. To those whose physical presence I have lost, this one is for you. You are loved and missed.


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About NR Davis

  • Very nice sentiments, Natalie. I’m lighting a candle, for people I’ve known and the people my loved ones have known, but most especially for the people in places we don’t always think about, where the disease is truly epidemic.

  • Excellent!

  • steve

    Chief…there is nothing progressive about progressives. more like regressive.

  • Chief Wiggum

    I see the liberal editors on blogcritics have been hard at work removing my posts.

    These so called champions of free speech are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites and will take any opportunity to censor anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

    So I’ll repeat….if aids isn’t a gay disease why do liberals label anyone who is aginst increasing aids funding a homophobe?

    [Chief: I am the Comments Editor but not a liberal. I try real hard to follow the BlogCritics Official Comments Policy as best I can.

    Neither BC nor I censor people we disagree with. In fact, we don’t even have a formal set of views to agree or disagree about. Comments Editor.]

  • Mr. Wiggum, ideology has nothing to do with editing or with quality writing; the fact that a number of right-wing posts have been honored on the site for their excellence recently puts the lie to your unfair and unwarranted charge.

    I don’t know who removed your comment. Perhaps another editor felt it violated the comment policy because, as with the question you posed (and have asked again), it is a question whose obvious only purpose is to insult and demean.

    NR Davis
    Politics Editor

  • Chief Wiggum

    Insult and demean who?

    I have heard many “progressives” make both of the following claims

    1. Aids is not a gay disease

    2. Anyone who is against funding for aids is homophobic or hostile toward gay people.

    Just seems to me that these statements are contradictory and I’d like to ask all you good enlightened liberals who you reconcile these 2 statements.

    Nowhere in this post or any other post am I insulting or demeaning anyone who has Aids. I’m just asking a question.

  • troll

    perhaps the editor responsible will step up and explain his /her action


  • Chief:

    Re your 1.
    AIDS isn’t a gay disease; I don’t care who’s saying it, “progressives” or not, it’s just a fact, plain and simple. It’s a viral disease.

    Your 2. I don’t agree that it is correct to accuse people who are against funding for AIDS as homophobic. There are other, far more compelling accusations to make against them after all…

    Troll: Is there is something specific you’d like to address?

  • troll

    I can’t be very specific as I didn’t get a chance to read the deleted comment

    put your editing knife away – the BC politics section will get along just fine without your ‘firm hand’

    I suggest that you go back in time and re-read the entries of one JC – do you want to eliminate the likes of him from BC’s ranks – ?

    the best way to counter insult is with argument not editing

    respectability ain’t the end all be all…


  • Troll: I usually get accused of being too tolerant, or that favourite insult “liberal” (I hate that lazy term anyway), now I’m too firm.

    The Chief has moved on; can we?

  • Again, I didn’t touch it. Bottom line, as far as this liberal is concerned, those who argue against AIDS funding aren’t necessarily homophobic (they may be cheap and/or heartless, or perhaps they – for good or ill – simply have different priorities). I can’t and won’t speak for those who hurl that charge, which I too believe can be unfair.

  • Chief Wiggum

    Glad to see at least a few liberals are being reasonable on this post.

    I just have a problem with the way in which many left wing groups frame issues and AIDS was one of them.

    Another example is how if you you don’t think we should spend a zillion dollars on breast cancer research you don’t care about women’s health.

    The obvious response to this is that heart disease actually kills many more women each year than breast cancer and maybe an individual thinks we should spend less on breast cancer research and more on heart disease research. Does this make them against bettering women’s health?

    Of course the most prominent example is how liberals decry all conservatives as “trying to control a woman’s body,” and being harmful to women’s health” because all most every situation involving abortion is a choice between the mother
    ‘s life or the baby’s because we don’t support abortion when in reality the reason we are aginst abortion is because we believe life begins at conception and the life of a child is somethign more valuable than the hackneyed phrase “choice.”

    I’m used to so called liberals and “progrssives” presenting thier own warped view of reality and changing the facts (outright lying) along the way to further thier agenda.

  • Both the GOPs and Dems are guilty of that. Let’s be fair.

    But bringing the subject back to HIV and AIDS, how about the Republicans’ insistence on tying AIDS funding in Africa to abstinence-only programs? By insisting that only their plan for helping PWAs be followed, a plan based on a particular religious view, they are consigning many people to hearing only part of the prevention and treatment story. That, IMO, is immoral to the core.

    From the Guardian, Dec. 1, 2005:

    Europe, led by the UK, last night signalled a major split with the United States over curbing the Aids pandemic in a statement that tacitly urged African governments not to heed the abstinence-focused agenda of the Bush administration.
    The statement, released for World Aids Day today, emphasises the fundamental importance of condoms, sex education and access to reproductive health services. “We are profoundly concerned about the resurgence of partial or incomplete messages on HIV prevention which are not grounded in evidence and have limited effectiveness,” it says. …

    The US has pledged $15bn (£8.6bn) over five years to fight the disease, most of which is channelled through the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar). Pepfar grants come with conditions, however – two thirds of the money has to go to pro-abstinence programmes, and it is not available to any organisations with clinics that offer abortion services or even counselling. The US is also opposed to the provision of needles and syringes to drug users on the grounds that it could be construed as encouraging their habit.

    No sane person wants to promote drug abuse or promiscuity. But is the Bush Administration interested in helping people survive or telling them to live the way Bush wants them to live if they want medicine or assistance?