Today on CNN Asia, the Mumbai home page features my article as one of its main rotating headline articles.
The story, “India’s New Untouchables: Children Living with AIDS” tells my personal experience in a village outside Vijayawada, with families who have been devastated by AIDS/HIV. This was a place in which much of the middle generation was missing, wiped out by the epidemic; it was elderly people raising their young grandchildren – some of whom were HIV-positive themselves, in a wholly unnecessary legacy of destruction.
My visit to Yesu’s family, and others, was three years ago – but to this day, I have never stopped thinking about them. I can’t forget the way their eyes looked; beyond tears, just despairing, and struggling to survive.
This article is published on the eve of the International AIDS Conference, which is preparing to meet in Geneva. Won’t you take a moment to read Yesu’s story, pass it on to others, and visit the World AIDS Campaign to learn how you can impact the fight against this disease, which is so devastating for children.
Ashley Judd joined YouthAIDS as Global Ambassador in 2002 after seeing the effects of HIV/AIDS on communities and children in the United States and around the globe. With no cure in sight, and the realization that education is the only way to prevent the spread of this disease, Ashley uses her celebrity status to speak on behalf of those without a voice and to promote YouthAIDS’ programs to provide young adults with immediate solutions for fighting AIDS.
Ashley says education and prevention is the best way to combat AIDS and HIV, which disproportionately affect women and girls and prey upon the vulnerable and less fortunate.
The actress met with HIV/AIDS orphans in India, including two sisters, ages 9 and 12, whose parents died in quick succession after their father infected their mother with the disease.
“It’s very real and it’s real stories and real heartache and also real opportunity to focus on a solution that is very cost effective and has an extraordinarily meaningful impact in the lives of young people,” Judd said.
Read Ashley’s Journal from India here, on One.org.