World AIDS Day isn’t exactly a holiday. It’s not like you go around wishing friends “Happy Worlds AIDS Day.” You associate “merry” with Christmas, not an epidemic. But when midnight strikes and Dec. 1 comes around, the 22-year-old tradition of honoring the lives lost, and noting the advances made in fighting HIV/AIDS, we’re more encouraged than ever knowing education about it is reaching the very children who will grow up in a generation that can help eradicate it.
Of course, “the gay disease” isn’t something we want our school children learning about! Especially since the heightened rates of infection are hitting minority communities in the U.S. more than ever.
But tomorrow, let’s acknowledge AIDS is a global problem. And its stigmatization — in countries like Kenya and Uganda, where the scarlet letter of having HIV walks in tandem with being branded gay and vile — is just as difficult to eradicate as the virus itself.