Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What Have We Become?

I just read that for World AIDS Day, Lady Gaga is going to abstain from Twitter and Facebook, along with several other celebrities, until US$1 million is raised for singer Alicia Keys' charity, Keep a Child Alive. Keys said, "It’s so important to shock you to the point of waking up... This is such a direct and instantly emotional way and a little sarcastic, you know, of a way to get people to pay attention."

I can't deny that I am thankful for celebrities who use their fame to raise money for important causes and charities, but let me first share a few statistics with you:
  • AIDS is the leading cause of death in South Africa
  • 5.6 million people are living with HIV and AIDS in South Africa, more than any other country in the world (2009 statistics)
  • 1 in 3 South African children will lose a parent to AIDS by the year 2015
  • 30% of pregnant women in South Africa are HIV positive
  • South Africa is one of 12 countries in the world that has not seen its child mortality rate decline at all since the 1990s
  • 33% of of women aged 25-29 and 25% of men aged 30-34 are HIV positive in South Africa
  • 41% of all deaths in the year 2006 were attributed to 25-49 year olds
Now may I respectfully ask, why do these statistics not shock people into awareness? Why does it take a lady who wears raw meat for a dress to abstain from her computer for a day to convince people to pay attention to the problem of AIDS?

I am absolutely ashamed to be an American, and furious to the point of tears.

(Research statistics are courtesy of The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Research, University of Cape Town, and AVERT)

4 comments:

not2brightGRAM said...

A sobering thought. Thanks for speaking out on an issue that I am only just beginning to learn about. (Some hope. I'm an American, and I didn't know about Lady Gaga; in fact, I have no idea who she is)

wakeupcowboys said...

What amazes me is that in some high schools in California they have clubs to introduce and educate kids to be okay with this lifestyle that leads to a horrible death. I've actually heard high school kids talk about attending such a club to see if they might want to "experiment" with the deadly lifestyle. Of course, they don't talk about what's happening in South Africa. What, in God's name, are we thinking in our country?

wakeupcowboys said...

Through shows, interviews, concerts, TV shows and movies, many of these influential media people who raise money to help children in Africa, actually condone, even encourage this lifestyle that so often brings death. Smart, talented people they are, but not wise... lacking in wisdom. It makes me sad for the devastation they are reeking. I have dear friends dying because of it right now.

Annie said...

I only know of Lady Gaga because of my kids, so don't feel too bad! And I realise I was a bit passionate on that post; I hope I didn't offend anyone.