December 31, 2015

Happy 2016

And so another year has passed. Is it just me or did this one go by even faster than last year? It's an exciting year that lies ahead, and many new and interesting opportunities - a calendar full of unwritten pages.

My promise to myself is to keep on enjoying, allowing time for spontaneous meetings, keep on travelling - oh, and 2016 is the year I will most likely be going back to full time employment again, after having studied and freelanced for a while I feel it is time - and I am very excited about it. 

I hope to meet many interesting people,  to make a difference for some one, to eat many good meals - and I have a feeling that if I am only open, there are plenty of opportunities out there - so

HAPPY NEW YEAR, wherever you are! 

Greetings from Düsseldorf, Germany

December 02, 2015

World AIDS Day

Yesterday, December 1 2015, was World AIDS Day.

An important day.

HIV, the virus that when untreated can lead to AIDS, might not be a deadly decease the way it used to be any more, at least not where we have access to medicines and access to health care , but it low income countries and in countries where people are already struggling with other issues, HIV is a very real problem. In big parts of Africa, in Russia and eastern Europe, and in parts of Asia the virus is still spreading and spreading fast.

Even if AIDS related deaths according to numbers from UN have fallen with 48% since 2014, and even if the number of new HIV infections have gone done with 35% since 2000 that is a worldwide number - in some countries the number of HIV infections are either still climbing or are continuing to be high.

World AIDS Day works as an important reminder -  people are still dying across the globe, from AIDS related illnesses - it is not the virus itself that kills, nor AIDS, which HIV might develop into, if untreated, it is other illnesses that kill, illnesses that the body can't fight due to the immune defence being knocked out.

The video I link to here is from a new report from Kenya, from World AIDS Day. It serves as an important reminder that we still have a long way to go.

However there is hope, not the least because the number ARE really going down, globally. New infections among kids have fallen with 58% since 2000 (numbers from UN). Very few children born to HIV positive women are infected, IF the mother is aware that she is infected and is receiving treatment - HIV cannot be cured but it can be treated so those infected can live a normal life and so mothers don't transfer the virus to their children at birth.

Sadly HIV treatment medicines are not available to everyone though, and in some places whole villages and towns are threatened - what happens with the children when the parents have died, what happens to the old people when there are no younger people to care for them when they can't take care of themselves. 

What do you do to feed yourself when the breadwinners of the families are no longer able to work or when they are gone?