Today is World AIDS Day. I work with international health and development projects, so I hear a lot about HIV/AIDS in the developing world. It remains a huge health challenge for many people, women and children in particular. Much more needs to be done in terms of education and prevention, not to mention providing care and support for those who have been affected. AIDS also continues to be a problem here in the United States. Despite the strides we’ve made, I’d venture to say there is still a lot of stigma attached to it. There’s still ignorance and a lack of prevention.
I don’t know how I’ve ended up working in the health and development groups of a number of organizations over the years. It isn’t my field. Okay, I’m an English major, so aside from writing and editing, I don’t really have a field. But I’ve always been interested in nonprofits and worked for a few over the years. It was hard to take a job in the corporate world, even though it was finally as an editor. And now I’m still corporate but providing publications support for projects around the world that focus on things like HIV prevention, maternal and child health, and malaria prevention, among others. It’s gratifying to know that our work does make a difference.
In Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol” (see, I’m sneaking in some holiday relevance), the ghost Jacob Marley tells Scrooge, “Mankind was my business.” That line has always resonated with me. That’s why World AIDS Day is important to remember. Mankind/humankind should be our business.