|Posted by Nancy Draper on November 19, 2011 at 10:35 PM||comments (0)|
I enjoyed being a guest on the KLAV radio show, "Conversations with Cogee" in Las Vegas, NV on 9-26-2011. I applaud Cogee for bringing this subject back into the limelight. We need more media coverage of this vicious virus that continues to infect more people each day. There is a way out through HIV testing, AIDS education in high schools, and community education for people of all ages. AIDS is a preventable disease. Radio and television must take an active role in reporting this pandemic. We can certainly lessen the infections through proper education.
On the show, I spoke about my book, "A Burden of Silence: My Mother's Battle with AIDS." She was a grandmother of six when she was diagnosed with HIV at the age of 66. She was infected through a contaminated blood transfusion during heart bypass surgery in 1983. She kept her illness a secret because she feared rejection. Mom died of an AIDS related illness at the age of 69.
Even though there was no official blood test at that time to screen for HIV, the CDC requested the FDA to test for hepatitis b core antibodies in the blood of donors. Unfortunately, they ignored the request.
At the request of Congress, a study was conducted by the Institute of Medicine. The study determined that "blood became a vector for HIV infection in the early and mid-1980s and caused more than half of the 16,000 hemophiliacs and over 12,000 blood transfusions recipients to contract AIDS."
The report stated that the Food and Drug Administration had been negligent and failed to protect the blood supply by not implementing screening options. These screening options were recommended by the Centers for Disease Control in 1983. This should never have happened. As my U.S. Congressman stated, "The government made a mistake."
Today, the blood supply is much safer due to the proper testing. Still, many people, both young and old, still don't know all the facts about HIV/AIDS or just don't take it seriously. Some don't bother using a condom during sexual intercourse. They think it won't happen to them. They don't bother to get tested if they shared needles or engaged in risky sexual behavior. Then the virus spreads to others they come in contact with through sexual relations.
There is an end to the pandemic if people act responsibly. We must all work together to help educate about HIV/AIDS. If you are a parent, get educated and talk to your children before it's too late.
Our country failed to respond to the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. It took a movie star, Rock Hudson, to get our nation's attention. Then we lost Ryan White to AIDS due to blood products.
AIDS doesn't discriminate and we should NOT discriminate against people with AIDS. It can happen to babies, teenagers, young mothers and fathers, and people of all ages. AIDS is an equal opportunity disease.
My mission is to educate as many people as I can about the dangers of sharing intravenous drug needles and engaging in unprotected sexual behavior. I don't want to see any more lives lost to AIDS. World AIDS Day is coming up on December 1. This date will mark 30 YEARS OF AIDS. Let's take time to remember all those blood transfusion recipients lost to AIDS as well as all those who have died or are living with HIV.
We must not forget this happened. History will judge us on how we responded to the AIDS pandemic. So far, it won't judge us kindly. Let's turn that around on December 1, 2011. WE have the power to make a difference!
|Posted by Nancy Draper on September 23, 2011 at 10:30 PM||comments (0)|
I will be a guest on the radio show, "Conversations with Cogee," on KLAV in Las Vegas on Monday, September 26. Call in or listen to the show, Living With HIV/AIDS: Is There Really A Way Out?"
This will be a very powerful and and informative show about AIDS awareness and prevention. Its aim is to enlighten people about this insidious disease that is still on the rampage in the United States and throughout the world.
Call in live at toll free (866)820-5528) or listen to the show between 5pm-8pm EST/ 2 pm-5pm PST on station KLAV, Las Vegas. Visit www.ConversationsWithCogee.com.
|Posted by Nancy Draper on December 1, 2010 at 4:11 PM||comments (0)|
Former surgeon general Koop warns of complacency about AIDS
C. Everett Koop, the surgeon general of the United States during the early years of AIDS, warns that a quarter of a century later there is a "growing complacency" about the epidemic.
By David Brown
Nancy A Draper wrote:
AIDS must be put back on America's radar screen. AIDS is still on the war path in the United States and throughout the world. It has been called the "Greatest humanitarian catastrophe of our time." Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan stated, "Experts now agree that HIV/AIDS is the worst epidemic history has ever faced. Yet, among the public at large, there is still a profound lack of knowledge and awareness, especially among young people."
This is a preventable disease. So why do people continue to become infected with HIV? The reason is there is a lack of understanding of how HIV is spread, lack of prevention programs,and testing.
Also, there is a lack of AIDS education in high schools. If we stop talking about AIDS, it tends get ignored. We can't let that happen.
I lost my elderly mother to AIDS when she was 69 due to an HIV contaminated blood transfusion. She suffered in silence because she feared people would reject her. Knowing what our family went through, I made certain I would spread the word about HIV/AIDS to as many people as I could through my book and speeches.
Parents need to talk to their children about this devastating disease. Approximately 50% of all new HIV infections are in young people between the ages of 15 and 24. We don't want our children coming back to us asking, "Why didn't you tell us all the facts about this disease?" For some, it might be too late.
I agree with C. Everette Koop about the complacency that still exists about AIDS. I applaud him for his continuing effort to make a difference in this world...even at the age of 94.
God Bless you, Surgeon General Koop. You have done an excellent job in attempting to educate people about AIDS. Let's pray that people will wake up and listen carefully to your message!
World AIDS Day is December 1. This is an opportunity for everyone to bring AIDS back in the limelight.
|Posted by Nancy Draper on November 24, 2009 at 3:44 PM||comments (1)|
World AIDS Day is on December 1, 2009. This is a day when people throughout the world remember those loved ones who have died from this vicious virus. What will you do to remember people like Ryan White, Authur Ashe, Rock Hudson, women, men, children and babies who lost their lives too soon from a disease that can be prevented with proper education? If we stop talking about AIDS, it tends to get ignored. We must not let that happen. Please share some of the activities you will participate in on World AIDS Day. Remember that AIDS is an Equal Opportunity Disease.
|Posted by Nancy Draper on November 21, 2009 at 12:17 AM||comments (0)|
To some extent, AIDS has fallen off the radar screen in America. People aren't talking about it as much as they did 8 or 9 years ago. We can't let that happen. We must keep it in the limelight. AIDS is still on a war path in the United States and throughout the world. AIDS has been called the "Greatest humanitarian catastrophe of our time."
Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan stated, "Experts now agree that HIV/AIDS is the worst epidemic history has ever faced. Yet, among the people at large, there is still a profound lack of knowledge and awareness, especially among young people."
Many people of different ages are not protecting themselves against sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV. There is a lack of education in the schools and at home. We must keep talking about HIV/AIDS. It's a preventable disease. No one should have to suffer from AIDS; especially after 29 years of the beginning of the pandemic.
My mother was a victim of AIDS after receiving an HIV contaminated blood transfusion during heart bypass surgery. She suffered in silence because she feared rejection from people. She felt like a leper. No one should have to feel this way. My mother was 61 when she contracted AIDS from a transfusion. She died at the age of 69. I'll do whatever I can to make this country aware of the need to educate people so we can cut down the HIV infection rate.
What are your thoughts as to how we can educate people in America about this vicious disease that has taken the lives of so many people?
Should schools do more to educate the students? Should parents participate more in AIDS education with their children? Please suggest some answers. We can't go on losing more lives.