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Tears came to my eyes when I read this story.  Nelson Mandela has been a hero of mine for many years, and his life has recently been filled with much personal tragedy.  To have his last surviving son be struck down by this hideous disease is so, so, sad.

With Mandela's public announcement, however, this tragedy might yet result in some good.  (Please continue after the jump)

Admitting AIDS as a cause of death is still very taboo in many African nations, and the reluctance to talk about AIDS and its causes helps spread the plague.  As American AIDS activists know, SILENCE=DEATH.  The amount of misinformation about AIDS in Africa is stunning.  Hopefully, Mandela's courageous step will help to educate the African public and lessen the stigma that perpetuates the silence about the disease.

AIDS is still a terrible scourge, wiping out shocking numbers of people all over the globe.  Unlike the tsunami, it's not a sudden, horrific disaster.  AIDS is a creeping malignancy that is nevertheless at least on par with the worst natural disaster.  But its relatively slow spread makes it easier to ignore.

Please send your prayers/good thoughts to the Mandela family, and please remember AIDS relief in your future charitable donations.

Thank you.

Originally posted to Rumblelizard on Thu Jan 06, 2005 at 12:49 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Just read this myself (none)
    And had no idea he had even passed. How sad for his family - especially his young children. Mandela's son just lost his wife to pneumonia last year, and his children are now parentless. Another life senselessly lost to such a tragic disease.

    Good LORD, this day is getting depressing as hell.

  •  Mandela is so very brave..... (none)
    I admire him so very much for having the courage to realize that his own personal trajedy can also be a launch point for focusing more attention on AIDs and saving the lives of other men's sons in the future.....

    Fuzzy only works for pets.

    by NotFuzzy on Thu Jan 06, 2005 at 01:13:07 PM PST

  •  terribly sad (none)
    what a shame.

    "Democrats: Always standing up for what they later realise they should have believed in." -Jon Stewart, the Daily Show

    by anna on Thu Jan 06, 2005 at 01:17:04 PM PST

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