- HIV & AIDS
- Direct aid
Much has been said and written about HIV and AIDS over the past 20 years. But here's where a particularly needy group rarely get to have their say: the children.
HIV-infected and AIDS-suffering children as well as children with infected family members are confronted by a wall of rejection in our society. Precisely how many children are affected is unclear as many families keep their illness a secret – out of fear of social ostracism. Even though HIV-affected children are innocent victims and often have to endure great suffering, they hardly receive any sympathy from our society. The fear of infection and uncertainty of how to deal with the illness are too great.
I know from my own experience that HIV-infected or affected children are rejected from nurseries and schools with flimsy excuses. They are refused permission to participate in music or ballet lessons and birthday parties. Time and time again we are told that HIV-infected children are a danger to others.
I want to help clear up unfounded fears, so that HIV-affected children and families are able to escape their isolation and do not have to hide their illness. Openly dealing with HIV and AIDS above all means: knowing how you can be infected with the virus and how not. If you know this, you know not to be afraid any more. And when you are no longer afraid, nobody gets excluded.
HIV and AIDS continue to spread across the world at a speed that is difficult to imagine. We have to learn that the topic of HIV and AIDS doesn't just affect 'others': homosexuals, prostitutes, drug addicts, marginal groups and so on and so forth!
HIV and AIDS affects us all. We have to talk about it at home with our children, our friends, with neighbors and colleagues. Every one of us can be directly or indirectly affected by HIV and AIDS nowadays. Anyone can get infected or know someone who is infected. And every one of us can do something to help make the lives of HIV-infected people, parents as well as children, a little easier. With donations – but also with education, openness, understanding, and charity.
You too can help to make HIV-infected and affected families smile and to educate young people about the illness and its consequences with your donations and your interest.
Yours, Michael Stich
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