In what may be the best belated World AIDS Day gift ever, doctors have announced that an HIV-positive man treated by a stem cell transplant has been cured.
While there’s no saying that a definitive cure for the disease has been found, this revelation certainly opens the doors for other stem cell based treatments.
This is not the only breakthrough in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Earlier this year, scientists discovered that healthy people who took medicine normally prescribed to those suffering from HIV had a lower chance of contracting the disease.
It’s very important that scientists continue to make these discoveries. It is equally important, however, that people without huge amounts of scientific expertise do everything they can to help people with HIV/AIDS. Luckily, many DoSomething grant winners are actively engaged in doing just that:
- This year, we awarded Shira Shane a grant to help her with her project, the Peer Educator Program, which raises awareness about HIV in Tanzanian schools using music, drama, raps, debates and other creative methods. The program oversees 18 active clubs of 280 peer educators in Tanzania.
- Shamin Mohamed Jr. founded the Children’s AIDS Health Program, a non profit organization that aims to open a health care clinic in Africa for children under 16 with AIDS. The group will be delivering Anti-Retroviral Medication to children in various orphanages in South Africa, as well as books, AIDS awareness material, and social services. helps impoverished children in Africa under the age of 16 recover from HIV/AIDS by providing them with free basic health care.
- Rachel Dalton organizes Run for the Village, a 5K race/walk in her community that raises awareness and funds for those who are affected by HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe. Specifically, the money goes to Eden Children's Village in Zimbabwe, which exists to serve orphans in the area, many who have lost their families due to HIV/AIDS. The children in the village are provided with a safe place to live, as well as an education and a loving environment.
- In 2008, we helped fund Kaytee Riek’s Global ACCESS, an organization that seeks to provide cross-cultural, new media approaches to AIDS advocacy. It provides training in concrete leadership skills comprehensive grassroots advocacy and organizing skills such as AIDS issue-based trainings, from leaders in the global AIDS movement.
What can you do?
Endorse charities that provide life-saving medication, support, and orphan care for Africans struggling with HIV/AIDS.
Educate your peers about the frightening facts of HIV/AIDS. Make a chart with some important statistics to jumpstart your awareness campaign.