Tuesday, September 19, 2006

HIV - social revoluntionary?

Yesterday, I met a delegation from Africa -- six men and two women from Mali, Ivory Coast, Chad and Togo. (One was a chief of a town in Togo -- he wore an actual crown!) They all spoke French, so we spoke through interpreters. We talked a lot about HIV/AIDS (this was through my work). What struck me the most is how similar our struggle are -- with getting people to get tested, use condoms. Someone else commented that HIV touches on all our taboo subjects -- sex, drug use, promiscuity, poverty, race. It made me wonder, if there is a god or a higher being, was this virus sent to help us get beyond our hang-ups around all of these things. To effectively fight AIDS, you have to acknowledge that people have sex, often with multiple partners, that sex is more often than not about pleasure than procreation, people shoot up drugs, that poor and often minority people contract this virus due to lack of access to quality condoms and HIV tests and many women contract it because they lack an effective means of protecting themselves from it. If we, as a society, valued fighting this virus like we value fighting breast cancer, I think it could help us work through many social stigmas and start addressing root issues.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Unfortunately a lot of people view the AIDS pandemic as a sign from God as a plague for the wicked, NOT as a way to wake up to our social insecurities, and unrealistic expectations for Humans. That's why when the religious right has control they never discuss issues of real importance like AIDS because they feel it's God's decision to "punish" the "wicked." It's sick, it's wrong, and completely asinine! That's why we must VOTE VOTE VOTE.
Love ya