1st December: World HIV day

We are influenced by the environment we live in.
I have been listening to this statement many times in high school and even more in University. I have never understood it more then on this day.

Brescia, Italy – 1st December 2006
“today no gymnastic. What about watching a movie?”
Quite unexpected outcome of my favorite lesson in high school. Prof. Arici is a big men, with a bigger heart. He has played rugby leading the team of the city to win the National Championship. Currently spends his year teaching sport to teen agers in the high school and coach many young rugby players. “What does rugby means for you?” “Rugby is the most friendly sport. At the end of the match you take a beer with your opponent. You might have kicked him during the match, but you do it in a proper way, to stop him not to hurt him. And at the end of the match you greet him”. Prof. Arici used to spend his summer in Zambia, driving tourists in local communities. He even speaks diverse local languages. He loves Africa.
I spent with him many hours out of my boring lessons on theories around maths, chemistry, art and other just listening to his stories and asking him to help me reflecting to the value of life.
“Movie of today, Philadelphia [http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_%28film%29]. Tom Hanks & Denzel Washington.

Addis Ababa, 4-8th December 2011
An upcoming conference on AIDS and sexually transmitted infections in Africa has sparked controversy after religious leaders and government officials in Ethiopia held a meeting on Tuesday 29 November, 2011, over whether or not to ban gay rights activists gathering on the fringes of the international meeting. The meeting came after religious leaders canceled a news conference called to denounce the planned conference of gay rights activists.
The 16th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa will be held in the capital Addis Ababa this coming Sunday, where more than 200 activists, experts and UN officials are expected to participate. [read more directly from Ethiopian voice http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/12/01/ethiopia-homosexuality-debate-arises-as-ethiopia-hosts-aids-conference/]

Addis Ababa, July 2011
University. Finally a sunny day. Having a conversation with one of my closest friend it happened to ask him news about his family. His father has passed by more then 10 years ago. He got AIDS.
In my European mind the topic ends here, with sadness for his loss. In that mind, HIV is something far, not really dangerous, or at least easily escapable with proper condoms usage or proper partner screening. In my mind of an European living in Africa I got to know there’s something more behind such a familiar event. There’s the chance to get to know that your father’s death is just the official announcement of your sickness condemn. Launch a coin. For what is known, there’s the same percentage of possibilities that if your parents are sick you are affected by HIV. He is not. Luckily.

Addis Ababa, Everyday.
125 children are attending classes in primary school. They have two new international teacher. They come from Czech Republic and Kenya. They are young,and they even brought some pens and some clothes to the school to make children happier. Is it one of the many private schools for rich families? No, not now. Not anymore.
The school was a private fancy school opened by a young woman willing to offer qualitative education to Ethiopian children. It worked well, until the moment when she decided to accept in the school children from the street. Sons of HIV positive prostitutes, precisely. Rich families changed their sons’ school. She went on with her mission. Currently she lives in a small classroom, in order to be able to manage the schools despite of everything. All her story I want her to tell it through this pages.
Luckily just 4 of the children are HIV positive.
I have 4 nephews. 4 HIV positive children would mean 100% of them.

Sometime, when tragedies happen and affects thousends, millions of people we tend to forget proportion and the value of individuals.


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