Last June, I had the opportunity to hear Charlize Theron talk about her homeland of South Africa, the ravages of HIV / AIDS, and the work her charity does to help coordinate a program of education and care to reduce the incidence of HIV infection and impact of AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa.
HIV and AIDS are entirely preventable. Yet every day 6,500 people become infected, and 4,500 people lose their lives. Currently, over 36 million people are living with HIV, 24 million of which are living in Sub-Saharan Africa. And the problem is greatest amongst the young, where incidence of HIV infection are increasing due to lack of access to educational resources and treatment options.
The Africa Outreach Project works with local community care providers in South Africa to overcome the fear associated with HIV infection to provide access to educational resources and medical care needed to save lives.
This January, I have the opportunity to journey to Charlize's hometown of Cape Town, South Africa, to start my own journey to run seven marathons in seven days on the seven continents as part of the World Marathon Challenge (http://worldmarathonchallenge.com).
I do this seven years after I acknowledged I was HIV infected, seven years after I was diagnosed with AIDS. I do this because I believe everyone living with HIV should have access to the medical care they need to live a happy, healthy life. I ask everyone to help the Africa Outreach Project in their mission. If our donations can help even one young person get access to the care they need to save their life, then we've made all the difference in the world.