immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a viral infection that progressively
destroys white blood cells, weakening the immune system, which
is the body's system of fighting infection. The final and most
serious stage of HIV infection is acquired immunodeficiency
syndrome (AIDS). According to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, more than 1 million people in the United States
have HIV infection or AIDS. AIDS is a significant cause of non-traumatic
death in the United States among people aged 25 to 44.
to a recent report generated by the World Health Organization,
an estimated total of at least (minimum) 11 million people will
die from AIDS from 2006 to 2030. In an optimistic future projection,
if new HIV infections are curbed and life-prolonging medications
are increased, 89 million people will die from this disease.
And further projects predict that in the next 25 years, AIDS
is expected to join heart disease and stroke as the top three
causes of death worldwide with deaths totaling as high as 120
information and these projections are not intended to put a
damper on your day. As World AIDS Day (December 1) comes and
goes, it is a powerful reminder of those who find themselves
as today's Spotlight Victim and then, tomorrow are
is a subtle reminder of those families and loved ones who continue
on past the tragedies of TWA Flight 800, the Oklahoma bombing,
and the World Trade Center/Pentagon/Pennsylvania... and so many
is a poignant reminder of the victims of 2005 Hurricane Katrina,
who are still recovering. And of the victims of 1992 Hurricane
Andrew, who are also still recovering... and so many more...
is faithful reminder of the thousands of men and women who have
fallen in the line of combat in Iraq... and Vietnam... and Korea...
and so many more...
is a powerful reminder of the millions of victims to civil war,
terrorism and violence across the globe... and so many more...
friend, as we each prepare for a season of festivity and celebration,
it's also helpful to remember that this is the season of Hope
- hope that, as a modern Christmas song loudly proclaims:
more lives torn apart,
wars would never start
time would heal all hearts
should have a friend
right would always win
love would never end
Forever woven in the mystery and miracle of the Christmas birth
is an endless hope; a hope that was birthed forever into life
on that dark night and planted deep within each of us.
friend, it is a hope that lives on in our very actions to one
another. Make a promise to yourself this holiday season to do
some selfless act to help heal a heart that much more, to be
a better friend, to assist what is right to prevail and love
just a little more deeply.
just one selfless act change the fate of millions? That is the
very message of the Christmas miracle. It was the birth to end
all death. Celebrate it. Act on it. Hope for it.