Just to keep things in perspective.
I got these figures from Nicholas Kristoff’s column this morning. His research for his column is staking out territory on human rights and world health issues including AIDS. Good thing too, because nobody else seems to be doing it. The man’s been to Darfur more times than I can count. And did his job well enough that he has to slip over the border from Chad these days. Something about how his work has embarrassed the Sudanese government.
Figures he quoted today put the daily death rate at nearly 8,000 and new infections at approximately 14,000. So, more than two a half times casualties of the World Trade Center bombings die every day. Every day. But, most of them die in places like Africa, India, and Russia. Places with names we’ve never heard of and most of us can’t even pronounce. Places where it doesn’t matter if the drugs are available, most of the victims can afford them anyway. Places where men with the disease believe they can be cured by having sex with a virgin. So they do it over and over and girls who should still be dreaming of husbands and children end up infected. Where it's still "boys will be boys" and wives and babies end up with the virus.
In the four days between Saturday when Oregon played Oklahoma and Tuesday when the headlines hit the newsprint, nearly 24,000 people died and more than 50,000 were infected. Now Oklahoma is threatening to back out of the game with one of the Washington teams in 2008 if they can’t bring some of their own officials. Say it’s two years to the day that the game is scheduled. In those two years over 5,800,000 people will die, just from AIDS. Just from AIDS.