The Future For Those Living With HIV Has Never Looked As Hopeful As It Does In This Very Moment

The Future For Those Living With HIV Has Never Looked As Hopeful As It Does In This Very Moment

The next few years appear to be promising ones full of purpose towards finally eradicating the infection from the human populace.

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The past few days have seen momentous progress in the worldwide fight against HIV with the 30th anniversary of World AIDS day on December 1st, 2018. Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the 1970s, over 70 million people worldwide have been infected with the malady, culminating in approximately 35 million deaths. However, the tally for today's treatment of the disease shows a far more hopeful outcome, with 37 million living despite carrying HIV and 22 million in treatment.

Recent advances in medical science and technology have lead to the proliferation of easily accessible testing procedures, a plethora of treatments including drugs such as Abacavir (a nucleoside analog reverse-transcriptase inhibitor that is utilized in conjunction with other treatments to reduce the spread of HIV throughout the blood), and pre-exposure prophylaxis as preventative measures have become readily available to many vulnerable communities to help stem the tide of infection on an international scale.

The fight against HIV has been fraught with a host of preventative and treatment plans including clinical trials of antiretrovirals (ARVs) introduced in 1985. Since HIV works by utilizing a reverse transcriptase mechanism — in effect, turning its own viral RNA into DNA — in order to integrate itself into a host cell to mass produce its desired product and thereby infect neighboring cells until an entire tissue area and body system becomes affected, reverse transcriptase inhibitors such as antiretrovirals are increasingly essential in their ability to limit HIV's ability to latch onto a host body and bind properly, thereby reducing its potential to spread and develop into full-blown AIDS.

By 1995, these various ARVs were proclaimed as a major breakthrough in the fight against the AIDS epidemic and were celebrated as a deadly combination to the fatal illness at the 11th International AIDS Conference in Vancouver.

Soon after this development, the WHO announced a "three by five" initiative focused on providing high-quality HIV treatment to approximately three million patients in low- and middle-class regions by the year 2005. It was the largest global public health initiative ever launched at the time, and it increased the number of people who were able to receive access to affordable life-saving treatment by 15-fold within a mere three-year period.

Since then, the WHO has announced a "90-90-90" target plan intent on ensuring that by 2020, approximately 90% of all people living with HIV would know of their status, 90% of all people diagnosed with HIV would receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, and 90% of those who received this therapy would be able to achieve viral suppression and subsequent recession of their symptoms.

While the Global Public Health initiatives of the world, including the World Health Organization of the United Nations, have made astounding progress in their conflict against HIV/AIDS, the next few years appear to be promising ones full of purpose towards finally eradicating the infection from the human populace.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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7 Of The Most Influential Women In History Who Left Their Stamp On The World

In honor of International Women's History Month, here are seven of the most influential women in history who left their stamp on the world in today's society.

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These are the women who made put the foundation to make our present and future possible. Even today, they still continue to inspire other young men and women. In honor of international women's history month which lasts from March 1st through the 31st, here are seven of the most influential women in history.

1. Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks is a well known African American female who refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. As a result of her actions, she was arrested which led to a nationwide campaign boycotting city buses in Montgomery.

Her brave actions played a very important role during the civil rights movement that eventually led to the end of bus segregation. Rosa Parks was given the nicknames "The First Lady Of Civil Rights" and "The Mother Of Freedom Movement".

2. Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman was a former slave and abolitionist who escaped from her plantation to lead other slaves to freedom using the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses that led to the northern states. She dedicated her whole entire life to helping others slaves escape who wanted freedom too. Harriet Tubman also led a secret life as a former spy during the war helping the Union Army.

3. Madame C.J Walker

Madame C.J. Walker whose real name was Sarah Breedlove, an African American, who became a self-made millionaire and entrepreneur. In fact, she was considered the wealthiest African American businesswoman in 1919.

She created her own wealth by developing and selling her hair care products. Madame C.J. Walker stumbled upon her wealth when she tried to find a product that would help with her scalp disorder which made her lose the majority of hair.

This is when she began to experiment with home remedies and store bought hair treatments which inspired her to help others with their hair loss after she saw significant improvement in her hair. She also was a very generous person who helped her community by giving to those less fortunate.

4. Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott King was an American activist and writer alongside her husband, the world famous, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, who fought for civil rights through peaceful protest. She supported nonviolence and women's rights movements.

After her husband's assassination, Mrs. King assembled and established an organization called "The King Center" in memory of her husband who believed in non-violent social change. She also led the petition to have her husband's birthday become a federal holiday which was eventually successful.

5. Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony, a Caucasian female, was a suffragist and civil rights activist. She campaigned against slavery and fought for women to be given the right to vote.

Her role definitely played a vital part in providing for the preparations for laws in the future for women rights. She worked with Elizabeth Cady Stanton to create the America Equal Rights Association (AERA) in 1866.

6. Daisy Bates

Daisy Bates was an African American activist and in 1952, she became the president of the NAACP in Arkansas. As a mentor who played a key role in helping to integrate the school system in Arkansas, she wanted to end segregation and helped do that with the introduction of the Little Rock Nine.

The Little Rock Nine was nine African American students who were enrolled in Little Rock Centeral High School, but the governor of Arkansas refused their admittance. In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled segregation in schools were unconstitutional; however, African American students were still being denied in all white high schools.

In 1957, history was made when Daisy Bates helped nine African American students known as the Little Rock Nine to become the first African Amercians to attend an all white high school.

7. Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells was a former slave in Mississippi, African American journalist, and a leader in the civil rights movement in its earlier years. Ida was born in 1862 to parents James and Elizabeth Wells.

In 1892, she began an anti lynching campaign after three African American men were abducted by a mob and then subsqequently murdered. She was a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also known as NAACP.

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