Friday, December 02, 2005

Demonstration for Aids awareness


Quite sadly the number of HIV positive people is currently picking up in France. Last year 7,000 people found out they were positive - against "only" 6,000 in 2003. Currently, there is an estimated total of 110,000 infected people in France. Yesterday was December 1st, traditionally the World Aids Day. Several associations demonstrated for Aids awareness at place de l'Opéra (1st arrondissement). More photos here.

19 comments:

  1. Thank you Eric. It is still World AIDS Day here in Seattle, and it's snowing. The quiet, cold, sad white blanket of millions of snowflakes floating down on our roof tops is like a silent, somber tribute to the millions who have lost their lives to this desease. It reminds me of the one year in the early 1990s when 6 of my co-workers passed away without hope of effective treatment. I am thankful that being HIV positive today, just a decade or so later, is not necessarily a death sentence, at least in the first world. We've got to work to make that a reality in the developing world, too. Your photo today is a good reminder to keep supporting the research and advocating providing the medications cheaply that will help ease the suffering and erradicte this horrible virus that has taken so many from us.
    -Kim

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  2. Well said Kim!

    Eric, why did this demonstration take place at the place de l'Opéra?

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  3. Thank you for doing that, Eric, (going to the event and taking the pictures)! Wonderful comment, Kim.

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  4. Could not agree more Kim. I was actually shocked to read that between 1997 and 2004 the number of unprotected sex doubled.

    Michael, actually I don't know. I know that all demonstrations must me approved by the Prefecture de Police prior to taking place. That is probably when they agree on the ending place. But I will inquire for you!

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  5. Thanx tomate. To be honest I must confess that I actually happened to be there on the way back from work. Needles to say that I could not resist shooting like crazy!

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  6. I noticed you wrote "Needles" instead of "Needless" in your previous comment...
    Speaking about HIV contamination, isn't that strange?
    I watched for the ith time the DVD movie "Philadelphia" a few weeks ago. I am afraid that this remarkable movie has not lost an inch of relevance...

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  7. AIDS is something that has probably touched, directly or indirectly, everyone of us - it has altered the way in which we think and live our sexuality. Some of us have friends or acquaintances who are HIV positive, full-blown AIDS, or have died of AIDS. I have a friend who was diagnosed HIV positive in 1992 (at the time, he was having mild AIDS symptoms) and, although he is alive and healthy, being on the medication regimen that he is on has been quite an ordeal with a lot of very unpleasant side-effects.

    Yes, AIDS and HIV can be "managed" and are no longer a death sentence - at least in most of the Western world (if you have health insurance, I guess), but what we need is a cure and a vaccine.

    I also watched last night, on the Sundance Channel, a poignant documentary on five children from Kenya who are AIDS orphan - whose parents died of AIDS. That too, is a dreadful consequences of this disease, which has reached epidemic proportions in some areas of Africa.

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  8. No country has made AIDS spending a priority. Speeches are made but when the time comes to act, the money actually spent/donated is seriously inadequate. The situation is much worse in Africa - poverty, adverse geographic conditions, brain drain of doctors, infrastructure issues only exacerbate the health problems (and lets not forget how many people die of treatable diseases like Malaria and TB)

    Thanks Eric

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  9. I sometimes find it difficult to understand our reaction to HIV/AIDS. What is it about AIDS that makes it so special? OK there is no real cure, but then humans have lived through many such events - black death was a regular occurrance in the past, a flu epidemic. Unlike those plagues, it is possible to be near 100% certain that you won't catch it yourself. Is the problem because it touches people our age? Is it because our medicine is so comparatively helpless? I don't know, but it must be good that we are prepared to take notice of it, and to try to help teh sufferers.

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  10. The fact is that this disease is connected to the idea of makig love : yes, now, loving the wrong person can kill you !

    How could we ever imagine that loving somebody would kill us ? In my opinion, even if there are other fatal diseases, this is the worst, because this one has "corrupted" something so beautiful : love. And I guess that's why our reaction to HIV is so... brutal.

    Sorry if my english is too bad, I hope nevertheless that my thoughts are clear enough ;)

    Regards,

    Gauvain

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  11. Your toughts are totally clear, Gauvin. Thank you so much for sharing them with us!

    - - - - - - -

    Ham: what a thought provoking comment. What is it that makes AIDS stand out? I saw your comment earlier today and started to answer and stopped right in the middle of my comment unable to complete my original thought. AIDS isn't any worse than cancer (I've known people who died from cancer and it was no picnic) so what is it, indeed?

    Perhaps it is because it is a relatively "new" disease (80's)? Perhaps it is because it stroke so suddenly and unexpectedly? (I keep thinking about the early days and see the image of Rock Hudson when he was ill, and remember the shock I felt, then). Perhaps it is because, it can and will attack young people, babies?

    Personally, I remember the pre-AIDS days, back in the 70's, when we (my generation) were pretty free and uncaring, if you get my meaning. When AIDS came out, we all ran to get tested in the mid-80's , thinking our "freedom" might have earned us a death sentence...

    I thought long and hard about your comment today, and still can't find an intelligent answer as to why AIDS is so "special" but you certainly got me thinking...

    Maybe people think they are at higher risk to get AIDS than to get cancer?

    I just hope from the bottom of my heart that there will be some medical breakthrough in that regard in the next 20 years.

    Seeing the pictures of that demonstration kind of made me feel good because I see that I'm not the only one concerned about it, and that is somewhat reassuring.

    (sorry for the long comment)

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  12. BTW, don't forget there's only one disease that ALWAYS drive to death : life.
    AIDS, cancer, heart attack, so on, they only shorten our life (or, for a better sense, "are a way to end our life"). Not saying that those diseases are good things, no ! But don't forget : we, all of us, are going to die one of these days. And it's not horrible : that's life...

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  13. I do not know but I suspect that the answer is complex and not very flattering to us as a race.

    First, it reminds us how fragile we are. Then, how impotent. It touches that part of us that is glad bad things happen to other people. It smacks of perversion. As much as anything, it is a really sexy story for the media.

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  14. Ham,
    I thought about your question. I think what has probably made HIV/AIDS stand out is that when it was first being diagnosed and understood it was not acted upon rapidly because, truth be told, the general population of the western countries the epidemic started to hit, exspecially the USA, did not care about the population then being mainly affected--namely gay men. It has only been since it has been perceived as a threat to the general population that the tide of sympathy turned. As for Africa, greed of pharmacuitical companies and apathy of the world population towards Africans has contributed greatly to the extent of the epidemic there. It has taken the world at large a very long time to become compassionate regarding victims of this disease. For so many years people with AIDS were not loved but judged as it being "there own fault." It is a sorry shame that the will of the world to irradicate this virus came so late in the game and with so little funding. The will is there now and we must keep the momentum going. A continent of AIDS orphans will be our judges when they are grown up enough to understand that this did not have to be their lot in life. It was and is preventable, but we didn't care about them enough to act.
    -Kim

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  15. As I agree with the vast majority of the comments above, I'll concentrate on my passion - photography - and say that your eye is excellent, capturing the moment, choosing the rendition most appropriate, framing superbly... and just getting out there every day and being inventive! An inspiration - thanks!

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