please care

Please do not be nonchalant about the AIDS epidemic in Africa.  Please do not let yourself be ignorant about how it is crushing millions of families, millions of lives.

I just watched the 2004 film Yesterday, a drama in the Zulu language about a woman named Yesterday and her husband, both of whom contract HIV.  It’s heart-wrenching to see the disease take their life away.  Lesions break out on their skin.  They get weaker and weaker, wasting away until death.  Yesterday is determined to stay alive until her daughter, Beauty, goes to school, even in a town where the stigmas toward HIV victims cause her to be isolated in her struggle.

I know it’s just a movie.  But at AidsandAfrica.com, it says that 2.4 million Africans died from the disease in 2007 alone, and I know that for every single one of those people, there is a heartwrenching story of suffering and death.

Yesterday is slow-moving and has subtitles.  But the gripping story puts a face to the numbers.  I look at the numbers, and they overwhelm me.  What can I do against such devastation?  I don’t know.  I know that governments and drug companies and poverty stand in the way of bringing medication and education to those who are sick.  But governments and drug companies are only people.  They are not the strongest force.  When you know about HIV, it feels like sin to just sit back, shake your head, and say, “That’s sure unfortunate.”

I really don’t know what I’m going to do besides learning more, starting with websites like One.org.  Just as I learned more of the suffering in watching Yesterday, I need to learn more about how I can practically help out.  There are many kinds of suffering in the world.  This one… has gone too far.

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