1-D. I curse those who do not continue the fight against AIDS!

jose luis opi

In memory of my brother Javi, always in my memory

Precisely in reference to the memories I have experienced, I look back to the not-so-distant 1992, in which the loss of my brother to this monster made me fully involved with those who had been in an unequal struggle for years, specifically with the Citizen Anti-AIDS Commission. .A new December 1st arrives, International Day for the fight against AIDS. A day to demand greater efforts against this cruel disease, reflect on what we do not do well, denounce governments and institutions that are not involved enough, or simply to remember our dead.

A cruel time in which ignorance took away a qualified part of our youth. The most sensitive, creative and rebellious, especially in music and the arts.

Among them my little brother Javi, leader of the rock group “Retales” that hit the clubs in Madrid in the late 70s and early 80s. They unconsciously played Russian roulette, exchanging death between them, which took four of its five components.

I remember in 1992 the efforts to convince the Parliament of Navarra, of which I was a part at that time, to approve measures that would try to stop the spread of the pandemic, or the stubbornness of a UPN Government of Navarra determined not to understand, that The use of condoms was one of the most effective measures.

Even, not without a certain embarrassment, that episode that made us national news, when we discovered that the then Minister of Health had given the order to remove the condom from an anti-AIDS kit, the distribution of which was approved by said Parliament after an arduous political struggle.

Not much time has passed since then, and although there are still conservative pockets in our society that defend sexual abstinence as a way to avoid contagion, we have made some progress. But it is not advisable to let our guard down and symptoms of this are detected especially among young people, which is why this December 1st should also serve to alert the authorities of this danger. Not one step back in this difficult fight.

We must also continue to support the victims. One of the biggest problems is the stigmatization of affected people, which is still detected in important sectors of our society.

Support that must be directed not only to their health care, but also to social care, and even cultural or economic care. Much progress has been made in this area since 1992, but we still have a long way to go.

But we cannot, we must not, remain only in the attention of those closest to us, we have to raise our gaze and direct it to the tremendous and unjust situation in the Third World, especially in that continent massacred by wars, hunger..., and AIDS: Africa. Without forgetting Southeast Asia, part of the Caribbean and the Eastern European countries.

There every day more than 8,000 people die from AIDS. Every hour, nearly 600 people are infected, and even more dramatically, every minute a child dies from the virus. In Africa, the irresponsible actions of the pharmaceutical industries prevent the generic medicines that exist from being distributed as they are much cheaper.

A form of collective crime, of covert genocide that we must denounce forcefully. This with the collaboration of sectors of the Catholic Church, committed to carrying out irresponsible campaigns against the use of condoms.

Fortunately, the appearance of a new Pope Francis is changing the direction of the march, of a hierarchy that turned its back on reality, but unfortunately this change is going too slowly.

There is much talk in the current era about the defense of Human Rights. Isn't the right to life the most important? How then do we consent to this mass violation? Will we continue to look the other way, being complicit in this situation, when they show us those terrible images?

I defend the relative effectiveness of the so-called “international days of…”, because they fulfill the function of remembering, of denouncing again. That is why I write these lines as this new December 1st approaches.

Those of us who have been closely affected by this terrible disease do not need them, because every day images of the loved one who was taken from us pass through our memory, and we curse them a thousand times, but for the rest of our society they are necessary, although only so that they do not forget that it exists.

That is why from here I express my solidarity with those who suffer from it, as well as my support for the organizations that collaborate on the ground to make their lives easier and prevent new people from ending up suffering from it.

At the same time I raise my voice, denounce and curse all those, be they governments, industries, or religious institutions, or policies that prevent effective means to prevent its progression, whether by making medicines cheaper or with effective preventive measures such as the use of condoms. .

This December 1, 2019 will be another one in the fight against AIDS, and once again the red ribbon will appear on our clothing, although we should not stop exclusively at that, nor should it only be during this day, but rather our involvement, our fight, will be transfer 365 days a year.

It should also be a time to criticize, denounce, curse those who individually or collectively do nothing to stop it, or even those who, by action or omission, end up being complicit in that situation.

We will see…………

José Luis Úriz Iglesias (Former parliamentarian and councilor of the PSN-PSOE).