December 1st is World AIDS Day, the annual reminder that some problems in life never go away. Less than twenty years ago HIV was unheard of, but worldwide 40 million people are now infected with the virus, and 8000 people die every day.
A recent report published by the Department of Health shows that there were an estimated 41,000 adults living with HIV in the UK at the end of 2001, and 2002 is set to see a 25% increase in new diagnoses. Back in the mid 1980s a lot of media attention was given to HIV, including that dreadful iceberg TV ad, but it's now been too long since someone last demonstrated how to put a condom over a cucumber on daytime TV. It seems that many people, particularly young people, have forgotten that the problem exists, or else they think that if Mark Fowler hasn't died from it yet then there must be a cure. Fraidnot.