Last year was the 30th anniversary of the first diagnosis of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and its cause, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection. What was at first though to be a rare form of pneumonia that afflicted people with already compromised immune system, turned out to a modern plague that grew as a boogeyman throughout the 80s and 90s.
But in 2012, HIV is no longer a death sentence, it's a manageable disease like diabetes: take your medicine, watch your vitals, see your doctor, and you can lead a mostly normal life. But there are millions of people living with the disease, and in some places in this world, AIDS remains a genuine pandemic. And its still true that HIV remains a serious danger, and people all around are trying to make sure that people are aware of that danger, and improve the quality of life for those diagnosed with the virus.
Recently, I got the chance to make a video for the Guelph-Wellington Volunteer Centre for the AIDS Committee of Guelph. I got to meet a lot of very interesting people who work for, and volunteer for, the ACG, and it was an interesting and informative couple of months for me producing it. AIDS doesn't make the news as much as it once did, and those red ribbons are not nearly as ubiquitous as the once were, but this project was a potent reminder for me that people are struggling daily with HIV/AIDS, but there is still tremendous room for hope as well.
The video was screened the other day at the Guelph Little Theatre with the other volunteer films, but you can now watch it yourself here and now thanks to the power of You Tube: