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Opinion / Women's Corner

World AIDS Day

by Pam
01 Dec 2011 at 12:52hrs | Views
Trying to wrap my head around the fact that AIDS and HIV is still an issue in 2011. Generally, I can sit down and write on anything but I just feel so sad and disappointed about this that I just had nothing new to write about. Below is a blog that I wrote in 2008 on this issue and it is still relevant today. I think health is wealth. You can't create change without being spiritually, mentally, emotionally and most importantly physically healthy and fit.

I know Planned Parenthood (I love this organization) offers free HIV testing. If you are in the states and you can't afford going to a doctor to do this, then go through this route. Remember, there are a lot of 'crazies' out there - who know that they are sick and want to get others sick with them. Always, insist on protection. If you do decide to go without, make sure you and your partner have been tested.

I almost cried yesterday as I found myself reading the blog of an unknown writer who is based somewhere in the UK. Her story was striking and heart rending as I read her story of how she found herself twenty - three and infected. Her story was sad because it wasn't because she was promiscuous or used drugs but rather because she finally decided to give it up to her boyfriend because she was scared that he will stray. As I read her story, I realized that her story isn't peculiar to her but one that rings true for many Africans all over the world. The stats on the crisis isn't a funny one but one that brings fear and sorrow to my heart as I think of how many families will be without a bread winner, child, aunties and uncles because that person has succumbed to the disease. According to the UN-AIDS 2008 report on the global AIDS epidemic, 22 million people were living with AIDS in Africa by the end of 2007, with approximately, 1.9 million people getting affected by the end of the year. Now bathi bona out of 10 people 8 of them are infected.

I have often pondered on why the stats are so high for Africans. Is it a result of a lack of information, lack of access - what exactly is our excuse? My answer lies in the simple word, invisibility. A lot of people are living lives without thinking about tomorrow. The common concept is that the universe will take of us. But how can the universe take care of you , if you do not try to take care of yourself. I am not here to preach to you about how to live your lives but rather ask that you live your lives carefully. If you must have sex, then use the condom, if you can abstain (though I believe this isn't realistic) then go that route - that method is 100 percent effective.

I will like to also add that if you find out that someone quite close to you has been infected that you stay by their side because they will need you more than ever now than ever before. As, today is the 1st of December, I hope that we think of all the people that we have lost in this war. I ask that we wear something that signifies our loss on that day. I ask that we participate more in protecting ourselves in our private lives. I ask that African women speak up more about protecting ourselves, and also that we realize that there is no big deal in going to that store and buying the pack.Get tested so you know where you belong, nothing is wrong in asking him to use that pack, be brave and stand up for what you believe. If ukwazi ukuba uyafeba ngoba ukutshandile akutsho ukuba uvume umuntu alale lawe ungela protection. Lina bantu abatsha hambani niyo hlolwa before you go deeper within your relationship for your own security.

We have to be proactive in our sexual decision making rather than quietly waiting for him to make the decisions. I will end by saying, "no protection no playtime".

Source - Pam
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