It is said that honest, open conversation helps keep relationships strong. I suppose then that the same is true regarding all relationships, whether with friends, family or lovers.
On today, World Aids Day, let's have a discussion with those we love about the ravages of HIV/AIDS in poverty stricken countries and how some governments choose to turn a deaf ear to those who cry for help because the powers that be cast moral judgment rather than show biblical compassion.
Be sure to mention how even in the U.S. there is an alarming number of cases of new infections, particulary in minority communities and among younger age groups. Unfortunately this is the demographic that is often overlooked and underserved.
This generation may not have been witness to the ugliness that was AIDS in the late 80's. Be not deceived, that same horror still dwells among us. We just don't see it plastered all over the media anymore. Young urban teens who don't reveal their positive status because of fear of being stigmatized are dying a hard and lonely death, not taking meds and not getting treatment.
Simply because the perception is that a positive status isn't as bad as it once was, many people risk engaging in unprotected sex. "If I get it I'll just take the meds." Sure AIDS is not the immediate death sentence it was in the early years we knew about it. But I'm sure those living with it will tell you it ain't no picnic either! And as mentioned before, most people in certain communities are not having dialogue about HIV/AIDS.
So, on today when you encounter a loved one or even someone you've seen around the way just pull them aside and say "Can we talk?"