Most staff members at the Harvard AIDS Initiative could tell you that 24% of the adult population in Botswana is HIV-positive. Yet most couldn’t tell you how many people in Massachusetts, with a population of 6.4 million, are living with HIV/AIDS. The answer, according to 2007 statistics, is 16,866.
To acknowledge that AIDS is a local, as well as an international problem, a dozen staff members took part in the Boston AIDS Walk on June 1. Though many of us work at HAI because we believe that our research and programs are of great importance in helping to fight and eventually end the AIDS epidemic, there are days when these goals get lost in the day-to-day aggravations of the work place.
On a beautiful Sunday morning, as we joined the group of 20,000 walkers, we were reminded that the epidemic is here, as well as there. Family, friends, children in strollers and a couple of dogs rounded out the HAI group. It was a joyful experience—one that gave meaning to Monday’s work.
One of HAI’s youngest walkers, Niki Farahani, wrote a pictoral essay on the experience. Check it out here (PDF).