I was visiting my granddaughter in Kenya recently. She works for the CDC in prevention of HIV/AIDS. I was astonished to see up close that in this day and age there are still so many suffering and dying in Africa not just due to lack of funds, poor medical care, and lack of sanitation but also due to the sad cultural and religious stigmas and myths around AIDS. So much so that many doctors do not tell patients what disease they have so that they can be treated and may die. So much so that babies born with HIV are not always treated. So much so that in Uganda they have tried to legislate death for homosexuals. And it is disheartening to see the sad effects that politics, money and corruption in all countries have on our efforts to prevent and treat this disease.
But since my visit and following the International AIDS Conference in July I was incredibly heartened by the advances that have been made. And the willingness of world leaders, international and national NGOs and most of all the heroes on the front lines to recommit to the hard work of stamping out AIDS. Thanks to all of you; you are truly honoring those we have loved and lost.