Last night, I was talking to one of my best friends who lives in Chicago... we don't always have the best luck connecting via phone (she is a resident who works nights sometimes- think Grey's Anatomy) but when we do, we usually laugh a lot and have really good conversations about our lives. We share a passion for Africa, and she introduced me to vanilla chai (my favorite) at the first Student Global AIDS Campaign meeting we went to in college- thanks, Ali:). She is currently an OBGYN resident at Northwestern- and is one of the smartest, funnest girls I know. Well this past year, through a series of chaotic circumstances one night at work, she ended up getting stuck with an HIV infected needle. I was scared when she asked me to pray for her, but thankfully, the risk of contracting HIV this way is very low. Still, as small as the risk was, there was still a chance that she could be HIV positive... and that was scary! After several tests (and weeks of anti-retroviral drugs), her results came back negative. I was and still am so thankful that she is ok! (So is her husband!:))
In light of it being World AIDS Day, I was thinking about how lucky she was to have access to ARV drugs. These drugs are expensive and not everyone has access to them. The theme this year for World AIDS Day 2010 is 'Universal Access and Human Rights.' Human rights violations (sex trade and trafficking) fuel the incidence of HIV. The focus this year is on protecting human rights while also working to provide better prevention efforts globally as a means of cutting the occurrence of transmission. Take some time today to think about your health, your body, your rights as a person, and consider how you might help someone who isn't as fortunate to have what you do. To learn more about World AIDS Day, and ways that you can get involved, follow this link.