Monday, March 12, 2012
Day 72: Bought a Pin
Last night, ESPN ran an amazing documentary called "The Announcement." The movie detailed the events surrounding Magic Johnson's announcement that he had contracted HIV. Typically every year on this night, I am busy creating a giant homemade bracket for the NCAA Tournament, but I just couldn't pull myself away from watching this movie. I felt so old because, although it was 20 years ago that he made this announcement, I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember the fear surrounding the disease, but as a ten year old, I didn't fully grasp how terrible it was. Looking back, it is amazing to see the ignorance that we had on how the disease was passed along, and how Magic really shined a spotlight on it. Although there have been tremendous advances in fighting the disease in the 20 years since his announcements, HIV/AIDS still affects millions of people worldwide. In the United States alone, there are believed to be over 1 million people with HIV with almost 20% of those people unknowingly carrying the disease. The situation overseas is much more grim. In Sub-Saharan Africa, there is an estimated 23 million people that are living with HIV or AIDS. One of the saddest statistics is the staggering amount of children (3 million) that are either born with HIV/AIDS or acquire it from breast feeding. So today, for my random act of kindness, I am going to do my small part to help fight this terrible disease. I am going to bypass buying my morning coffee, and instead spend my $5 to purchase a pin from FaceAIDS.org. The proceeds from my purchase go towards providing the necessary medication to pregnant woman to help ensure the virus isn't passed along to their unborn children. So if you would like to join me in skipping your morning coffee today, please visit the website to either donate or order a pin. You will even receive a letter and a picture from the person overseas who made your pin!