Everyone keeps telling us we are living in the last days and more often I can’t stop but wonder if HIV/AIDS is actually that mark of the best the bible was talking about. I don’t have data to back up this claim but the way this scourge is killing mankind one can only but start to wonder. If I am wrong about this and it’s not the mark of the best then can we possibly eradicate it from our beautiful country Swaziland?
While I can fathom an HIV free country in the future, I am finding it hard to imagine the possibility of an HIV stigma free Swaziland any time soon. It might be my myopia getting the better of me here, but for as long as we are still not talking freely about sex, then HIV and AIDS will continue to be the “mark of the beast” in the eyes of many.
Kwakha Indvodza recently attended the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, where the organization posted on its take on what needs to be done to curb the HIV scourge. The organization calls for all hands on deck by all sectors of influence in order to see the AIDS free-2030 envisioned by the UN come to fruition.
The question that we need to ask ourselves though is what will this call change? What will these public figures, community leaders, health care professionals and the like do differently now compared to what they had been doing all along? Isn’t it time we threw all caution to the wind, divorce our inhibitions and open an honest dialogue about sex?
The pandemic is still rife throughout Africa and this can only mean that what has been done before and is currently being done, clearly is not working. What further perpetuates it is the stigma attached to it. Perhaps if organizations such as Kwakha Indvodza called for the removal of sex and sexual relations from being taboo in our culture, then maybe, just maybe the stigma surrounding HIV may decrease.
I cannot call for a free conversation about sex and exclude the youth. This means then that the task is not only squarely on the shoulders of Kwakho Indvodza but on all of us. Let’s talk about it at home, at schools, at church, at work, with our friends and neighbors, just everywhere. The way I see it, the more we talk freely about sex, the easier it would be to disclose our HIV statuses. This then will lead to the decrease in the HIV stigma resulting in fewer infections and transmission of the virus. This is just my taken on the matter though, leave your comment below with your thoughts.