World Anger AIDS Day.

Mikkel reminds me that today is

Support World AIDS Day

As I said in this post, 2.9 million people died of AIDS last year. A significant proportion of them in Sub-Saharan Africa, where entire generations are growing up orphaned, if they're growing up at all. Life expectancy at birth in Swaziland is 32.6 years. That's about the same life expectancy we had in the Stone Age. Think about that. The Stone Age means: no modern medicine. No doctors. No housing. A lifestyle which mostly involved getting in front of big, angry things and trying to kill them, which is why many Stone Age remains have bone breaks similar to those found in rodeo riders. Guess why the life expectancy is so low. Modern civilization is not doing anything for these people. 10.000 years of culture is doing precisely squat for them, because they're poor.

Now think about the fact that we're still spending more money on weapons than anything else. In fact, adjusted for inflation and so forth, we're spending more money on killing each other every year, not less. Ironically, more people are dying of AIDS than war in South Africa.

Despite being reduced to caveman life-expectancy, pharmaceutical companies still have not made their drugs cheaply available in developing countries. In March, 2001, 40 pharmaceutical companies sued South Africa for allowing production of generic drugs, and importing generic drugs from other countries. Because the profit margin is really the important thing here. Luckily, their lawsuit failed. But still to this day we have medicines that turn HIV, a death sentence, into an unpleasant, but liveable chronic illness... For the rich and wealthy in the west. If you're poor, you're shit out of luck. Unless you happen to live in a country with a decent health care system.

Use the day to influence your politicians.


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