December 1, 2000
12:00 AM   Subscribe

Today is World AIDS Day, and to commemorate this event (and the day without art and day without weblogs), I'll be posting AIDS/HIV-related links and I ask you all to do the same. A good information resource for today is the CDC's FAQ on AIDS. And I bet you've never seen the virus' life cycle before.
posted by mathowie (21 comments total)
We're soliciting personal stories about how AIDS has touched our lives over in {fray}. (The rest of the site is offline until Monday.)
posted by fraying at 12:11 AM on December 1, 2000

All I Want Is Everything by Def Leppard: It's a song about a guy dying of aids, although the lyrics can be percieved as a simple boy meets girl type song.
The video was directed by Matt Mahurin. [It's 1.5 mb, quicktime plugin required.]
posted by riffola at 12:33 AM on December 1, 2000

This is a very, very good idea, Mr. Haughey.
posted by kristin at 2:55 AM on December 1, 2000

Even though I may be the most cynical, sarcastic bastard on the Internet, or at least here in MeFi, even I have to admit this was a good approach you've taken, Matt. And it hurts to admit that. I think The CDC FAQs link cannot be reiterated enough. If a person only check one AIDS link today, that's the one. It cuts to the quick and dispels a lot of misinformation. Even if you think you know everything there is to know about this, it can't hurt to just review the facts and give yourself a little pop quiz. The penultimate way to beat this is through education.

I'm still incredibly tempted to find a blatantly NON AIDS link and post it here today, but in honor of this "holiday" I'll make a point not to be as much of an asshole as I usually am for 24 hours. You're welcome.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:39 AM on December 1, 2000

who cares anyway?There's a simple message here 'don't screw around!
posted by druadh at 8:07 AM on December 1, 2000

I was originally skeptical of claims by Brad and others that AIDS has "fallen off the radar screen".

Then I decided to take a little tour.

The Dallas Morning News DOES contain one story (at a glance) about World AIDS Day.

CNN weighs in with about as much at-a-glance coverage.

ABCNEWS' front page contains a link to a story about an AIDS "survey", but otherwise contains no references to World AIDS Day. UFO2000 however, is well represented.

So 2 local and 2 global news outlets rate anywhere from a "D-" to an "F" in their front-page coverage of World AIDS Day.

Again, my "study" is pretty rough around the edges, and maybe these seemingly innocuous links are the gateway to a trasure trove of AIDS education, but assuming that most people click links that are featured prominently "above the fold", this ain't cutting it.
posted by ethmar at 8:28 AM on December 1, 2000

crap...should have previewed first.

The Chicago Tribune features NO stories about World AIDS day on their site. If I'm wrong, please correct me.
posted by ethmar at 8:29 AM on December 1, 2000

druadh: Ok. Never have sex again for the rest of your life. Hope you enjoy it.

There's your "simple message." Now go teach that to everyone in the world and see how far you get.
posted by dnash at 8:38 AM on December 1, 2000

More news coverage:

Despite a relatively meager link on the front page, MSNBC weighs in with a fairly comprehensive article, complete with links to other AIDS resources.

CBS News is the first news-oriented site that features a prominent link to their AIDS coverage. Their article is loaded with links to additional resources. Bravo.

PBS offers old stories, buried a few layers down into their news stories. Disappointing.

NOTHING at NPR. Shameful.

NOTHING at The Christian Science Monitor. Terrible.

So in summation, unless somebody shows me to be a blind bat, yes, there is a problem with AIDS slipping off of the radar screen. And yes, a day like today seems to be needed.
posted by ethmar at 8:46 AM on December 1, 2000

ethmar - the Chicago Tribune has a tiny mention of World AIDS Day. In the Leisure section it briefly lists two events.
posted by dnash at 8:56 AM on December 1, 2000

Hmmm. I followed your link, and you're right. However, I tried to replicate the steps necessary to go to the page you referenced and I came up with a goose egg.

Maybe it's just me. Judgement?
posted by ethmar at 9:04 AM on December 1, 2000

WNYC just had a piece, which dovetailed rather quickly into Alan Greenspan worship.

Abstract: On World AIDS Day Saturday, New York will shut off the lights that illuminate part of Manhattan's skyline in the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings from 7:45 to 8 p.m., as part of an effort by arts institutions and AIDS organizations to commemorate lives lost to AIDS. AIDS has deeply affected so many New Yorkers that friends, neighbors, coworkers, and relatives should be honored by a moment of silence and the lights-off gesture, even if the gesture is small, write the editors of the New York Times.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 9:09 AM on December 1, 2000

Also, for being so "left leaning", NOTHING at Salon. Britney Spears gets featured article status though.
posted by ethmar at 9:10 AM on December 1, 2000

ethmar - for the Trib thing I used their search function, searched for "World AIDS Day" and that link was still halfway down the list.

Salon has an AP wire piece.
posted by dnash at 9:16 AM on December 1, 2000

Sure, now they make me look bad once I clicked the "news" link. But there was no front page coverage, which is what my impromptu survey is looking for.
posted by ethmar at 9:25 AM on December 1, 2000

There's an amazing photo on Reuters today. Let's see who picks it up....
posted by fraying at 10:18 AM on December 1, 2000

CBS did.
posted by ethmar at 10:43 AM on December 1, 2000

The facts seem to point that the people most ignorant about AIDS are not going to learn about it online. Sure AIDS is bad, but there are plenty of bad things out there. Heart disease kills even more people each year and doesn't have a day of fake solidarity.

I guess I find it insulting to hear anything by people that address something for one day and think they have done something other then make themselves feel good.

Those people that have AIDS have it every single day. Whether a weblog updates or that a city shuts off it's lights for a single day does nothing to change that. Real action makes real changes. Showing who is covering this issue today and who is not is turning this whole thing into a sycophant pissing contest.

Education helps when you apply AIDS knowledge outside of the web. Most new cases are still happening in Africa where people are refusing to even use condoms.

Sorry, maybe I should just be happy it's being mentioned at all.
posted by john at 11:52 AM on December 1, 2000

John, I'm of the mindset that every little bit helps.

I knew this day was coming up, and thought I was well educated about the subject, but I'm learning many new things today. Why is that?

The crisis is most apparent in Africa, yes. But I'm here, sitting behind a computer in the US, and what can I do? I can certainly raise awareness about Africa's plight. I can write to my congressmen asking for aid to fund African AIDS education. The next bill that comes up will get my support, and perhaps many readers of this site.
posted by mathowie at 12:07 PM on December 1, 2000

I know. It's just sometimes the frustration of knowing people that have it builds up. I can't think that things like this will help then, but I have to consider that it might help others not get in the same position.
posted by john at 12:18 PM on December 1, 2000

It reminds me of when I used to go to church. Every Sunday all these people would dress up and congregate in a massive building, designed for worship. For a brief period of time, at least in theory, all these people would band together for a mutual purpose: to commune with their god. Some would find this noble. Some would find this laughably absurd. Others would have no end of differing opinions. And in fact each individual among the congregation would have their own alterior motives. Some noble; others not so. Some would go because they were told to by parents or friends. Others would sincerely want the best from the experience. In order for any fight against something like AIDS to work, we can't just devote one day to it. It's a constant battle. It's a frame of mind that each individual must choose to take for themselves. It's not a religion, but it is a cause which must be pursued with conscientious devotion.

We know the facts. We are also aware of how much we do not yet know. Each individual who learns the truths and misinformation about this pandemic must make a series of decisions for themselves about how he or she will choose to live, and whether or not they will spread that knowledge on to others. You have to choose whether or not you will squelch it out a week from now, or a month or a year. When an opportunity comes to talk with someone who is obviously mistaken about AIDS in some way, will you speak up? Will you correct their misinformation or will you just let it slide? How important is it to you? One day a year should not be necessary to keep attention on this. We should think about it every day. We should each seek out ways in which we can help improve the situation, so someday AIDS will have gone the way of polio, and be less of a threat to mankind than the common cold.

I am among the lucky few to have never known someone on a close and personal level who has died of AIDS. It's not due to me however. I've just been lucky. In the end, I'm only responsible for my actions, and I try to be responsible with my actions. Every day. I hope that day will never come, when someone close to me takes me aside and tells me they are infected. Without education and vigilance on each individual's part, the day when a friend dies of AIDS is inevitable. However, that day is every day, for every time a fellow human being dies of this disease, it weakens us all.

I do have a friend who is dying of cancer. We have attributed it to his constant smoking. What have I done in response to that? I still smoke. That's been troubling me for almost a year now, and he doesn't have much time left. How responsible do my actions look in the face of that? Is his fate to be mine? How much longer should I tarry before I do something about that? What if my friend was dying of AIDS, and despite that I still regularly participated in unprotected sex? See what I mean? That's why AIDS is still spreading, because despite the knowledge there are people out there still acting irresponsibly. Now with smoking in designated smoking areas, I'm only harming myself and with second hand smoke, potentially harming fellow smokers. A person who acts irresponsibly in the face of AIDS is helping to put the entire human race at risk.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:18 PM on December 1, 2000

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