I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to post more about AIDS related issues today, but I was busy doing things at home. So I'll tell you an interesting tidbit that I learned way back in college. Ah, memories. (If I get anything wrong, I apologize. I am doing this from memory.)

While reading a book about the AIDS crisis in Africa and Asia, I was reminded that people may be fairly educated about the disease in the US, but other countries do not have this benefit. In Indonesia, it is very common for men to visit brothels while they are married. At these brothels, they rarely use condoms because the men don't like them and the prostitutes need to make money. Also, both groups are mostly uneducated. Even if they were educated, it is shunned upon to speak of sex in most South-Asian societies. It is meant to be something private. As a result, most of the prostitutes test HIV positive at some point in their career. This high percentage, means men are very likely to contract the disease.

Here comes the most upsetting part. These married men go home to their wives and expect to have an active sexual relationship with no questions asked. Even if a woman knows her husband is having sex with a prostitute and could very well be HIV+, she cannot even ask to use a condom because it would not be socially acceptable.

This is where the problem lies. We live in a country that talks about sexuality a lot and, for the most part, it is not a problem to get important information to citizens. Elsewhere, this is not the case. Cultural and religious customs are different in every country and can make it difficult to discuss and prevent AIDS. This means that although we are making progress here in the United States, it does not give us the right to relax. The disease affects millions, many of the innocent, and it is our obligation to help make a difference.