|Posted by Nancy Draper on December 1, 2010 at 4:11 PM|
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.