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Last Updated on 1 December 2014 by Gertrude

We are all affected if not infected. Be on the forefront to fighting HIV, not because we are in a third world country, but because we have to be voices of reason. Reasonable sex. Yes, I am a true African but also believe myself to be a global African. I can settle anywhere in the world, anywhere can be my home, is home. But HIV is not an African problem, it’s a global problem. Do you believe this is a problem of poor nations, ONLY? Well, I don’t. Someone once told me, ”Just because you are clean outside doesn’t mean you’re a saint inside”. The reverse is equally true.

We are too Africanised, ” We are African men, we follow our tradition to the letter, we care not whether this ‘thing’ exists.  After-all, women are there to be explored and raw sex is the one suited for the African man/woman”. What happens next is beyond what I am about to say, I won’t even. What can we do to eradicate such remarks that make us leave our babies orphaned? What can we do? we cry,  African problem. Why should you as a Kenyan participate?

Educate. This a day we educate, enlighten and give knowledge to each other because it’s wise. We all know education is the best cure for  all world’s problems, at least, most. Let us tell and show our people, from early in life that education is important especially, sex education. Why we should wear condoms before we have coitus with strangers. We can go to the extent of introducing laws such as those dealing with those who have or know very well have the deadly virus yet, go infecting others. We can prove with mens rea that this person did it with purpose, knowledge and willingly. He was not coerced. Go to the rural villages, tell men that before they marry twenty five wives, they should undergo testing and counselling too. Most of the virus spreads through promiscuity. Provide condoms in institutions. Contrary to popular belief, even people in high society get infected. Doesn’t matter where, let’s have the condoms accessible and affordable.

Encourage. While most men and women give up, we don’t make them feel they belong to the society, our society. The more we have orphans, the more we have starving children.Most orphaned children’s relatives don’t have financially stable jobs or sustainable means for themselves, what of added burdens in terms of other children?. These kids end up being maltreated, then thrown on the streets to fend for themselves. This is not the end of the world. Strong social support makes a difference in an individual who had given up. There is always a difference between people who have  received support and those who haven’t.

Prejudice. We even get angry with the kids, throwing them on the streets because they are dirty, they are infected. We should participate to know.  Aristotle concurred that a knowledgeable man is far much better in  a cave than a King in the Palace with little knowledge to fall back to. We have to know that HIV is real, it kills, it eats, it squeezes, it vanquishes all our possible energies, it dries. Why are we saying then that we can ‘get raw’ come take malaria tablets and we are through? Are we being serious? Are we being really concerned with the well being of our kids? Why are we fighting this war today, a day only, with encouraging stories, only for a generation to sprout that says, HIV Is Like Malaria. Then when our kids’ relatives die, we can’t have the said kids in the house, because their parents died of a deadly poison.

Stand together. What if we made this day a day of not judging others of who they are and what infected them? What if we rose our hands in solidarity like teachers do? Uniting when they have not been paid or feel a little oppressed? Let’s stand together believing that we can make it, we can do it, if we are together, we are more than able.

Some time ago, there was a documentary on women who used the drugs of HIV as additives to pombe haramu, illegal alcohol. What does this mean, that we don’t care or we are so heartless to the extent money has become too too important at the expense of our bodies? We don’t mind what happens to our kids? It’s not about us, it’s about them, our children. The youths in colleges and universities, married men and women,  should be encouraged to engage in methods of sex that respect their bodies. They should not just be told, ”Practise safe sex”, they must be shown how to respect them. How to reach for what will not harm their bodies, not when we are already old or matured, but when we are still young. Safe sex starts from you, you and you. You know there is a risk of getting infected when you have multiple partners, you know there’s a risk if your partner sleeps around. Why don’t you encourage getting tested, just because, you trust your man, husband or wife, or just because they look faithful doesn’t mean, they are faithful or look faithful or do faithful. They may be as well dangerous.

To the infected , please please, we implore, it’s not the end of the world. It’s just the beginning, the world doesn’t just end because you have been infected. It doesn’t not end either. Take care of yourself, eat, exercise, believe, encourage yourself, that we all make mistakes. It’s a mistake you have learnt from, believe too you can be healed, if you decide to change your ways. Encourage others to join in your battle for negatives in some way, we can be like the Northerners of Kenya. To those who are negatives, what better than to ensure you remain that way by sticking to your husband or wife or by using condoms? What better way than to avoid lust of the body, we have all heard what lust can do, right? Abstain, abstain, abstain, when and if the right man comes your way you will know as he will agree to be tested!.

Keep on, Keep on fight relentlessly, giving up isn’t the best thing you can do to yourself. We can teach each other lots during such world event days, what an encouraging way to start a month!. Happy December and Holidays ahead.

What would you do if  ?


stephanie

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