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Blog Prompt #3

"Four hundred thousand South Africans are dying every year of AIDS. This makes the war in Iraq look like a birthday party." -Jeremy Cronin, SACP deputy secretary at the Satawu Congress in Johannesburg

As I surfed the internet for information about HIV/AIDS and other diseases I was surprised at the amount of comedic and sarcastic responses I came across. With issues as serious as the AIDS epidemic in Africa, as well as the rest of the world, I would've expected a more morbid outlook. The truth of the matter is that it is an extremely serious matter. "Over 22 million people have died from AIDS," and "Over 42 million people are living with HIV/AIDS'" . Comedy in response to an issue this extreme can only mean one thing: the inability to comprehend the severity of the problem. In one instance " the populist ANC politician Peter Mokaba, and Parks Mankahlana, who served both Madiba and President Thabo Mbeki, denied the existence of AIDS" . Ironically, both men were living with HIV.

The images i found told a different story. Many promoted awareness while other showed the visible products of the AIDS virus on the body. This picture of an AIDS patient beings assisted by a nurse is one of many disturbing visions associated with the disease. Many people, especially in developing countries, don't have access to this kind of health care and therefore must cope with the full force of the illness.

One, if not the most, disturbing image I came across was an advertisement advocating HIV and AIDS awareness. The picture emphasizes the severity of the disease.

the push for AIDS awareness extends to the music industry also. Salt N' Pepa, an R&B group popular in the early 90's, released and album with a track titles "I've Got AIDS" in order to further their fight againgst the disease and to encourage their listeners to think safe when making decisions about sex. Other songs, like "Everyone Has AIDS" by Team America exaggerate and make a parody of the issue.

One song that has had a personal affect on me is Sarah McLachlan's "World on Fire". Although it doesn't focus on AIDS in particular, the music video depicts the struggles other countries are facing from finding safe drinking water to the absence of health care to a lack of available education. It juxtaposes issues in developing countries with the unnecessary frivolity of American entertainment. I was amazed.