As the holiday season approaches, most of us will preoccupy ourselves with shopping lists, vacations, and other festive preparations.
All these activities might be exciting, however; it is important to not forget issues facing the world.
We are referring to World AIDS Day on Friday, Dec. 1, a nationally and worldwide recognized day started in 1988 to remember that HIV is still an ongoing issue around the world. The day is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection.
But not only is it a day to spread public awareness, but it is a day to remember those who have it and are battling the vicious virus.
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How does our own community fare?
The following statistics, from aidsvu.org, show that, as of 2015, there were 25,457 people living with HIV in Miami-Dade, of which 73 percent are men and 27 percent are women.
Demographically, 43 percent are are black, 44 percent are Hispanic and 11 percent are white.
In 2014, 1,916 people died of HIV in Florida; 352 of them were Miami-Dade residents.
At Florida International University, we strive at being “worlds ahead,” it is a phrase we use to remind us that no man is an island.
We have been given the opportunity to study and become professionals not only in our city, but in the world market as well.
So, we have built a culture of being globally minded individuals with the goal of becoming global citizens.
I encourage everyone reading this letter to listen to voices outside the city limits — to research and learn about how HIV affects us globally.
After your searching, I will guarantee you two things: you will be shocked by the living standards and death toll, and most importantly, you will know it is within our reach to drastically make a difference.
Pedro Garcia, Kimberly Duran & Michelle Larotta.
Officers for the Student
Global AIDS Campaign at FIU