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A Future Generation without HIV & AIDS Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Grace, Kenya Feb 21, 2007
Health , HIV/AIDS   Opinions

  

HIV and AIDS is the greatest threat facing African today. With the rising figures and almost nil control measures, it makes me wonder ...are Africans in danger of extinction?

How can we gang up to create a HIV free generation? Since it was reported in Kenya in 1984 or so, the current young generation is very much aware of HIV & AIDS existence with very high mortality rate in Kenya. Should we celebrate at recording a 2%, 10%, or 20% decline in the rates?

According to UNAIDS/WHO 2006 AIDS epidemic update, more than 25 million people worldwide have died of AIDS since 1981. Young people (under 25 years old) account for half of all new HIV infections worldwide - around 6,000 become infected with HIV every day.

To have a HIV free generation, we all need to do more in curbing the infection; Do we all know our current status and what are those infected doing to curb the spread of the disease? What are those who are HIV- doing to stay that way?

This is a very crucial topic for today's youth; they will make a healthy and HIV free future!





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A Future Generation without HIV & AIDS
KOKONYA O PATRICK | Feb 24th, 2007
Let me confess that we have all along refused to call a spade, a spade ... we keep calling it a big spoon! This is hypocrisy of the unforgivable order! Yes, we all yearn for a future without HIV and AIDS as my friend Wanjiku Njoroge observes in her article on the youth and HIV and Aids in Kenya. HIV and Aids continues to claim more and more lives in this country and elsewhere. In fact the most productive group contributing to the growth of Kenya's economy and indeed any developing country particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa are the youth who are still productive yet vulnerable. This group is being swept away as the world watches. Most organizations have now succumbed to talk-shops instead of actions on the ground. Instead of marginalising young people in terms of budgeting and programming, it is time we sat down with them and discussed HIV and Aids interventions together. Time for planning for youth in their absence is long gone. Resources for Peer - to - Peer approach to the scourge should be set aside. Peer education, life skills, Training in guidance and counselling among other interventions is crucial. We have to target youth in and out of school now. Provision of Youth - friendly reproductive health services is important. Policies have to be developed in an all-inclusive process but then monitored for implementation. Youth should be encouraged to be active participants and not given tokens! The youth-friendly Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCTs) facilities should be established at every stop for youth to easily access. Sex education, talk and discussions in schools and other institutions of learning should be in the curriculums. Reigious institutions - christians, muslims, hindus, sikhs, annimists and non-believers should also participate. Abstenance is one thing, living it is equally different. Young people need a society that understand them, listen to them as their friends. Religious leaders can reach majority people every week preaching on the pulpit or synagogues o mosques! Oh! how many of our believers can we reach in a week? If we cannot do anything now, we will preach to empty benches! This is the time-bomb reality. Parents have a role to play as first tutors to their children. Poverty is an issue here. Developing nations should let third world or the developing countreis manufacture or atleast import generics of HIV and Aids drugs to address the situation. Multinationals are exploiting the poor countries, where affording a single meal in a day is a pipe dream. I wonder, for those living with HIV and Aids and have families; should they spend money on purchasing very expensive ARVs and going through ARTs or should they buy food for the starving family? The world has to watch out this time round. We have bitter lessons to learn from. Remember in 1994 for a record 100 days or so, the world watched unpurterbed as citizens turned against their kins in Rwanda (the Rwanda Genocide). Too unfortunate but we are all in a healing process. This time round, we should not sit and watch as citizens die out of opportunistic illness arising from HIV and Aids simply because of poverty perpetuated by the developed nations who seem not to honour the Millennium development Goals (MDGs), due to be realised by 2015. Those who are HIV Positive need our support; the uninfected need education for prevention an the multinationals should stop milking the poor nations on the little dime for buying food! Poverty doesn't cause HIV and Aids, it is only a contributing factor. Let us make poverty history as young people through this kind of forums on TIG. Bravo veterans of TIG. Kokonya O Patrick, Junior Consultant on Youth Development & MDGs, Kenya & South Sudan.



HIV HEALING
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