SIL recognizes World AIDS Day

(December 2009) The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is Universal Access and Human Rights. People in ethnolinguistic communities are especially vulnerable to HIV/AIDS due in part to the lack of essential information in the mother tongue. SIL facilitates translation of local-language materials for communities and local organizations that want to increase HIV/AIDS awareness.

Reading materials in local languages that discuss the prevention and treatment of diseases have proven to be effective. The availability of culturally relevant information dispels misconceptions surrounding HIV/AIDS. The work of SIL with HIV/AIDS literature and materials is an extension of its long-standing advocacy for ethnolinguistic communities and local organizations throughout the world.

David Beine, Ph.D., an SIL international anthropology consultant, has been invited to give a paper in Washington, DC, at the Society for International Development. His workgroup presentation is titled "Eating AIDS: Using indigenous cognitive illness schemata (cognitive metaphors) in HIV/AIDS prevention messages in Nepal."

In Papua New Guinea (PNG), the SIL PNG HIV and AIDS Task Force provides information, knowledge and training for leaders throughout PNG. In January, the Task Force will be addressing a nationwide conference.

HIV/AIDS is not a poor man’s disease, nor does it only visit certain countries or continents. Combating this pandemic through education, prevention, maintenance and care is an endeavor that benefits from the joint partnership of governments, local communities, aid agencies and others in order to achieve agreed-upon goals.

Current statistics for HIV/AIDS*

  • Number of people living with HIV in 2008: 33.4 million
    31.3 million adults
    15.7 million women
    2.1 million children under 15 years
  • People newly infected with HIV in 2008: 2.7 million 
    2.3 million adults
    430,000 children under 15 years
  • AIDS-related deaths in 2008: 2.0 million 
    1.7 million adults
    280,000 children under 15 years

* UNAIDS data

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