This December 1st, we commemorate the global response to the AIDS epidemic, and remember the 25 million we have lost to this devastating illness. This year also marks 40 years since the first diagnosis. In a world where we now fight Covid-19, we must not move on and forget those still impacted and marginalized by the AIDS epidemic.

It’s easy to see that Covid has sent shockwaves of impact in all of our lives. Socio-economically, mentally, physically, there has not been any areas of life spared by its crippling reach. Covid’s impact has also created layers of suffering in communities that continue to be affected and impacted with AIDS and extreme poverty.

Covid’s Impact on the already vulnerable

Closed borders created logistical nightmares for the delivery of life saving medications, food, seeds, and medical supplies, as well as humanitarian aid workers not being able to get to areas in need. Livelihoods lost. No seeds, animal care or fertilizers means no farming, resulting in widespread food shortages, leading to malnourishment and worldwide extreme hunger impacting more than 155 Million people…20 million more than prior years before Covid, resulting in starvation deaths outpacing Covid related deaths in communities where there is food insecurity.

Dwindling Support

Between the impact of Covid in our own lives, the cancellation of in-person fundraising events, the cancellation of programmatic trips, as well as the unexpected costs of Covid relief in the communities we serve, we have been stretched very, very thin.

Desperate times and the cycle continues

Without the support of healthy, sustainable livelihoods, women are forced to sell themselves as prostitutes. More pregnancies, and the spread of AIDS continues leading to the highest infection rates since 2008.

Lessons learned

One important lesson we as humanity have learned first hand from dealing with Covid is, we are only as strong as our weakest. Covid will not be the last virus to hit the world, and with the added pressures of the climate crisis, we can expect to see more diseases, more disasters and wider spread impact. Love and kindness supplies are still widely available and at our disposal to give endlessly and, as we all know, giving hope spreads more hope. See our stories of hope at work with Operation Honeycomb.

Together we rise.