Indifference Is Preying on People Living With HIV/AIDS

Reflecting on AIDS 2010 in a Globe and Mail column, the newspaper's Andre Picard writes of the decision of protesters gathered at the conference to march through the streets of Vienna, ending in Heldenplatz (Heroes' Square). "The choice was deliberate and the symbolism powerful. Heldenplatz is where Adolf Hitler gave one of his more infamous speeches ... The ornate Parliament, where the Nazi banner was once displayed, was adorned with a giant red ribbon, the symbol of solidarity with those who are HIV-positive," Picard writes.

"The juxtaposition of old and new, of history and future challenges, on the Heldenplatz was thought-provoking," Picard writes. "Bullets and bombs once claimed a generation, while today it is a microscopic virus. ... Tyranny once came in human form -- Adolf Hitler. Today it is more banal -- a lack of humanity."

"Rich Western countries like Canada have reacted with grand words but small gestures. These days the claim is that the economic crisis has left them unable to do more to stem the pandemic, but it is a matter of priorities," Picard continues, concluding that "there have been 25 million victims of HIV/AIDS and there are 7,000 new infections daily. Far too many have been victims of a tyrant called indifference" (7/28).


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