Friday, November 28, 2008


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.

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, December First approaches, 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. 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".

Till next time,

* Pls, read the interview with Miss Zambia Universe on this issue. You can also respond on my facebook page.

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