Friday, December 01, 2006


oday is World AIDS/HIV day. I do not fancy the idea of having a “specific day” for a crisis that affects millions of lives everyday. To me, in most of the times, the specific days takes away commitment and essence of the struggle. However, that is probably how it has always been and I have little choice than to agree with the “system” before the system rejects me!

Africa, for all the reasons, remains the most affected continent when it comes to this pandemic. The vulnerability goes hand in hand with long rooted historical, economical, social and political causes. No one can even explain best on the question what happened and what should be done. Theories and theories emerge every other day. No one seems to be getting it right because the fact remains that millions are dying, millions are suffering.

Therefore, I believe, there has to be some sorts of twists and shouts if we are to witness drastic changes not only on how to fight the killer disease but also on how we prepare the current and next generation’s future.

Apparently, I have heard some people arguing that contacting HIV/AIDS is almost a matter of choice. If you know that you could be exposing yourself to the disease why have unprotected sex? Why use drugs, share needles and other stuff with people who you believe they could have been infected? While, on a short note would like to agree with them, the consideration I never stop highlighting is circumstances. That is when I love the idea of not judging anyone but instead extend the arms of love, grace and unconditional support. We should all do just that.

AIDS/HIV is real. I can hardly think of a family, specifically in continental Africa, that has not lost a dear one, has not lost a friend, a neighbor, a colleague etc due to the disease. That should, therefore, inform each one of us that HIV/AIDS does not discriminate and pays no attention to gender or even sexual orientation.

While I insist that education going together with support is crucial, I also want to remember all those who have passed away. R.I.P. I also know that millions of brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, fellow countrymen and women are suffering and struggling with the disease. To all of you, the only thing I can say is never loose hope, keep fighting and never give up.


scout said...

jeff, it's a sad road about aids/hiv and i'm happy to see you dedicated an entire post to it.

to me, the pandemic striking africa the hardest is yet another testimony to the genocide of indigenous many white africans are suffering the same percentage wise? my guess is the numbers will be very dissproportionate, just as in any other area of the world.

this is not a racist statement, it is merely fact and testimony to the greed and corruption. who lives on the land where theres so many natural resources? who stands in the way politically? the indigenous people.

but who in the end will rise, and who are being turned to already as the world gets sicker and sicker in so many ways? the indigenous peoples who have not forgotten the ways.

and yes,no can one judge social conditions of oppression and desppression imposed by the oligarchy? it is a system where, until ills hits the white upper class the money is not poured in for reserach.

Jeff Msangi said...

Thanks for the passion and input Scout.On the very day of remembrance I attended a vigil organized by the local non-profit organization,community based.What shocked me was the lowest attendance of event I have ever seen.That reminded me something important,the war is still young,at least to most of the fellas out here.They just miss one important clue and lesson...times have changed.The world is now flat!

scout said...

"The world is now flat!" true and well said, from a society level. here's hoping for a round, healthy earth!!!

Louis Nyalifa said...

Hi Jeff,
Well interesting sad topic of the day I should say!
I should say I have been lucky to have acquired the knowledge of this terrible disease, deficiency syndrome, SIDA call it whatever you want, but the fact is that people are dying!
I did some of my studies in India and, as I type this India is the leading the world with the number of people infected with HIV. For those who have not been to India or understand the culture etc of the subcontinent, I can only say this, if nothing is done, Africa issue is nothing compares to what is to come!
It maybe political or economical factors that contribute highly to this infectious disease, but the major culprit is the lack of education.
I once asked my college mates in India on what does him/she understand about AIDS/HIV. I was shocked and really dismayed at their answers. "With no offense Louis, but this disease is only for Africans and it can never happen to us" IT'S BLACK Men's DISEASE". I was actually not offended at all, but very sad and horrified at the reply!
EDUCATION again I reiterate is one major solution amongst others for tackling this disease. Oh yes the countries are poor, corrupted, etc, are all valid arguments, but people will die. I actually don't sympathy with a fool who goes out and have unprotected sex or use non sterilized piercing instruments with the knowledge that he or she may acquire the disease. But for those with no knowledge or no means to avoid those instruments, it’s a pity.
I think Jeff you will remember back home in the remote villages where injection needles were only boiled and reused, people did not have a choice, but the fact again they still have the choice of boiling it should be imparted to them and it can save lots of lives.
As we pay tribute to those departed souls, maybe we should also contribute to imparting of life saving information or links on our blogs. I know you may be wondering, if one can get online, surely he/she will for sure know about the disease. You will be surprise, a good example is have a go at Jay Leno's jaywalking and marvel at the world's sole superpower's intellects on the street then you will realize.
Let's play our part by contributing to educating others on the disease, someone out there will surely listen.

Jeff Msangi said...

Good piece brother.I completely hear what you are saying.The India case sounds crazy but not new.Similar incidences happens all the time,misjudging.We Africans have to bear with lots of soups it seems.

You are right,there is a party you and I can play.Educate a brother,a sister,a cousin or whoever comes across.A lot needs to be done,especially on education as you suggested.I still hear the stories of a whole village sharing a single condom with dismay!It does not make me cry but makes me think aloud and with shameful face.Its a fact and if I do not stand for those brothers and sisters the flat worlds will keep chasing golds and tanzanite.

Scout said...

louis and jeff....thanks for sharing your knowldege. i did not know the lack of education was that poor.....and who do we have to thank for that? again, it's the seemingless never ending cycle of class, poverty, corruption.

the idea of an aids awareness link is great! is there an existing one in swahili for your potential african readers to share?

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