About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

30 November 2005

Foreign Aids

For a well known comedian, Jameson Hall was surprisingly quite empty for Pieter Dirk-Uys' free show. But for those of us that did go, it was a great show, although the show did have a message - not about abstinence from sex, not about AIDS or HIV but more about overcoming fear and talking about sex. The show was not strictly the show he takes around to schools and such; but rather a show about the show (metashow?) and he covered a wide range of subjects - from condoms (why its better to buy than to get freebies), Thabo Mbeki, PW Botha and talking about sex. He likened the battle against AIDS like the battle against Apartheid, handled badly by politicians, filled with rumors and misinformation and very little support for the people who are doing their very best.

Fighting AIDS is more than a ribbon. It will take more than reading statistics once a year. Ultimately, fighting AIDS requires education and support of both those who have AIDS (so that they can continue living and enjoying life) and those who don't (so that they do not get it in the first place). And while South Africa has placed lot of emphasis on the later, statistics and the harsh reality is that it does not seem to be working. What I find interesting is that the same tactics are used elsewhere in the world - Metro stations in DC proclaim "if there are 5 people on the platform, one person could have HIV"; similar messages in London while India has some rather interesting ads aimed at dissuading adultery. But it is the very statistics in India and the self proclaimed ones in DC that suggest that the messages aren't really working.

And as Pierter Dirk-Uys' commented - its not only about the message but about the practice. If condoms are inconvenient - because they are of the wrong colour, size or just takes to long to extract from the packaging - they won't be used. And while we seem to have perfected the message, acting on the message is far from perfection.

1 comment:

Wong Online PoKér Hu said...

I absolutely agree. I think something has to be changed in the implemetation of measures to be more effective in dealing with AIDS.