Basic reflections on the world, mankind and HIV/AIDS

Mankind has entered the new millennium.

Our world today is home to more than 6 billion fellow humans -- a figure which has doubled in the past fifty years -- with growth continuing mainly in the poorer countries. Along with that, the disappearance and transformation of nature everywhere through an excessive use of technology and industrialization have made the world a smaller place with increasing problems, conflicts and dangers.

Rationalism has given us the scientific means to attain our potential, but holds also the means to the ultimate destruction of nature, cultures and civilizations.

Natural disaster and systematic exploitation of both natural resources and manpower results in poverty which in turn causes suffering from conflicts, wars, starvation and disease.

Lack of political will and ignorance as well as cultural, geographical and economical inhibitions are multiplying factors. This goes hand in hand with the lack of appropriate medical care, education, information and communication.

Snared in this crippling downward spiral, impoverished people of both sexes are affected. Most especially, women are disadvantaged and burdened by gender disparity and deprivation of their basic human rights.

Fuelled by these causes, AIDS has become a major killer of mankind. By destroying the body´s natural defenses, it also has become a catalyst for other epidemics such as tuberculosis that is presently spreading at an unprecedented rate.

In the past twenty years, HIV/AIDS has raged like wild fire and killed an estimated 25 million people, most of them in Africa.

3 million die annually.

More than 40 million are infected.

Most victims are aged between fifteen and forty five.

Orphans and the elderly are left unable to fend for themselves.

Right now, AIDS is destroying whole societies and peoples at an escalating pace in poorer areas of the world. The effects of this devastation are about to engulf all humanity.

Wealthy countries have found the means to halt the spread of HIV/AIDS. They have the responsibility this privileged position brings to share these means with all humanity. There is now not only a moral duty and responsibility of privilege but also the urgent need to deal with those areas of our world under threat.

It is acknowledged worldwide that a halt and reversal of this devastating impact on mankind can be achieved by means of active dedication of resources in the field of both medical treatment, comprehensive information and education.

This can only be effected through bringing together the creative potential, political will and concerted efforts of dedicated groups and individuals, professionals: doctors, teachers, social workers, artists, religious leaders, institutions and governments.

Roland E. Futterer, MAAA Concept Officer, 2004 Strömsund, Sweden