Today, Dec. 1, is World AIDS Day. I wonder, how much do you think about HIV/AIDS? If you live in America, I’m guessing not much. Powerful medications have changed the face of HIV; it is no longer a death sentence. People with HIV are living long, healthy lives – they’re growing up, going to college, getting married, having children, having grandchildren.
If you live in the developing world, you may think about HIV often, and in parts of the world, you will likely have been personally affected by the virus in some way.
Here are five things you should know about HIV today.
1. Do you know how HIV is transmitted – and how it’s not?
HIV is not spread through kissing, sharing cups, sneezing, holding hands, swimming, sharing a home, or being in the same classroom.
HIV can only be transmitted through sexual contact, blood-to-blood contact (sharing needles), and from mother to child during pregnancy, birth, or through breastfeeding.
I need to take a moment to thank each one of you who has left a comment about my Tell it Well series. It has done my heart good to hear from you and know that my story is helpful to you, or to your sister, husband, or friend.
Labor Day weekend comes at such an odd time – just as we are ramping up and focusing on school, we take a long weekend. I’m always a bit torn about the interruption, but Labor Day weekend also means a very special family event, REACH Camp. My kids talk about camp all year, keep in touch with camp friends, and eagerly look forward to it. Yesterday morning as I was waking Honeybee for school, I heard Little Man stirring, and then his little voice said, “Eby, wake up, only two more days until REACH camp!”
My dear friend’s husband and daughter just left for Kenya. When Russ and my kids are out of the country, I have to work hard to stay happy and not worry, and I know it is the same for Kathleen. So I came up with a brilliant solution to keep her mind occupied and make the days fly by — I’m taking my youngest five to visit!
I’m heading to Seattle today with Honeybee, Dimples, Sunshine, Eby, and Little Man, where we’ll have two days of appointments, therapy for the girls on Wednesday and a full afternoon at Seattle Children’s on Thursday. Amazingly (and thankfully), Sweet Pea has a rare afternoon and evening off, so we’ll get some special time with her as well. I’m praying for a safe and easy drive, fun with friends, and answers to some questions at our appointments.
So often it feels that we are drowning in the needs of the world. It is hard to know which causes to support and if our money will be put to good use. One of the neat things I get to do in my role with From HIV to Home is to witness the work that other small organizations are doing to care for children with HIV, a cause that is very dear to my heart.
One of the organizations we partner with is Lola Children’s Home which was founded by a man that I have personally met on both of my trips to Ethiopia. Abebe was an orphan himself and clearly knows the needs of these children.
Suzan shared this video on her blog, Red Ribbon Diaries and I am happy to share it here. With all that is happening in our family, sometimes I forget just how amazing it is that my children are alive. They are miracles in our midst and God has a purpose and plan for their lives.