During my Western Pathology Class this year, we had a very emotional day when discussing the topic of HIV and AIDS… it’s truly a heartbreaking disease, and if only I could I would heal the whole world! Since it is World AIDS Awareness Day, I figured I better post something and raise awareness not only of the disease but of the potential for Acupuncture to be beneficial in its treatment. This is an excerpt on an article in Acupuncture Today reporting on the 13th Internation Conference on AIDS by Carla Wilson. It is from October, 2000 but, it will give you a little peek into the AIDS epidemic that is still alive and growing.
More than 12,000 delegates and observers from 180 countries gathered in Durban, South Africa this July to break the stigma, indifference and ignorance surrounding the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
South Africa currently has the highest concentration of HIV cases in the world, with an estimated 4.2 million HIV-positive people. Six thousand people in Africa die of AIDS every day, while the rate of infection increases by 1,600 daily.
This year, I provided acupuncture treatment every afternoon in the conference’s exhibitors hall. I arranged chairs “detox style” and provided a “treatment on demand” clinic in the center of the NGO (non-goverment organization) community. My little “four-chair clinic” was never empty, and people waited in line for a chance to try acupuncture. I found that several of the conference participants were very interested in the possibility of acupuncture treatment to help manage HIV infection. Many languages were spoken, but frequently it was the universal language of gentleness and reassuring touch that mattered most, as countless people were able to have their first experience of the marvelous effects of acupuncture….
To read more please click on this link: Breaking the Silence in South Africa
Somewhere in my archives of emails I also have a link to a blog about an acupuncture clinic in South Africa that treats victims of the AIDS virus… I’m going to try and find it, because it’s a great blog and when I do, you can bet I’ll post it for you!
… and here it is! The Flying Needle Project! A graduate from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine set this Acupuncture clinic up in South Africa in August of this year. Here is a little taste of what they are all about:
The Flying Needle Project is born out of the need for a form of HIV/AIDS healthcare that is affordable, effective, mobile, supportive and widespread. It is founded on the principle that health care is a right, and not a privilege. The vision of FNP is to offer complementary health care to anyone who requires it in order to bolster the strained national health system.
In August 2009 the project opened a clinic at the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town, where it utilizes a revolving door of health care professionals specializing in Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Reiki, Massage and Holistic Medicine. In order to reach the townships and more rural areas, FNP hopes to create a mobile clinic within the first year of operation. FNP will either partner with an existing mobile clinic or purchase and design its own. This step will bring the medicine to those in need who cannot afford transportation to the city.
FNP’s vision relies of four key principles that will drive it to meet its mission:
No cost to every patient
Mobile and widespread
Effective and efficient
Educational and Empowering
Each of these goals works in conjunction with one another and foster sustainable results that reduce suffering, increase health and vitality and improve the quality of life for the HIV populations in South Africa.
Please check out this blog, and donate to the cause! The Flying Needle Project