somber notes

01Dec06

first off, i don’t know if any of you pay attention to CNET, but one of their hosts and editors, james kim, and his family have gone missing. they have not been seen or heard from since saturday when they were on their way to the oregon coast. at first those of us who knew tried to laugh it off “oh they just snuck off for a long weekend and were having too much fun to call in.” but now that it’s been a week, it’s serious. if any of you live in oregon and can help or just want to know more, there’s information on cnet

second, today is world aids day. i know you guys have had a few heated discussions about aids and other diseases in africa before, but this new report out of CNN has me so depressed. 950 people in south africa die from aids every day. about 1400 are infected with aids every day in this tiny country. seriously south africa has a population just over 50 million and yet it has the second highest number of people with aids (india is the highest and their population is in the billions!!).

i’m not sure if you remember but i traveled to SA earlier this year and i heard / saw the devastation first hand. it truly affected me. even though there are issues that have a more direct impact n my life, for some reason this is one i feel the most responsibility to follow.

but there is a glimmer of hope. the former health minister who suggested garlic and sweet potatoes would keep the population safe and healthy, and who instituted a catch 22 style program for AIDS drugs that kept almost everyone from treatment has been forced out and a new deputy minister has been put in charge who is working with advocacy groups to come up with a plan. even if he does, it’s going to be tough for south africa to recover. over 10% of the population is already infected.

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