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Is “Behaviour Change” The Ultimate Solution? Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Erick Ochieng Otieno, Kenya Dec 12, 2007
Culture , Health , Human Rights   Opinions


Every now and then, ones hears of the arguments for ABC (Abstinence-Be Faithful-use Condom) as ways of combating the ever rising cases of HIV/Aids in the world. More often than not, however, these ideas end up in deaf ears, even though we have to admit that there are some success attached the concept.

It is quite disheartening to see many still dying of the scourge even as a lot of campaigns are going on. Why is this? This is a question that defies all answers. A lot of studies have been done to come up with solutions to the problem of HIV/Aids infections but one area still remains untouched. This is the possibility of making people change their behaviour as a way of controlling the disease.

Change of behaviour could be one of the surest ways of controlling the disease in that when people understand that they are the ones to control their deeds, a lot of mistakes that emerge in the process if actions either consciously or unconsciously will be averted.

Take for example a case where one goes on and gets intimate without having any protection not because they do not have the condoms, but because they could not use them due to being drunk despite the fact that they carried. Such situations arise especially when those involved are alcohol and drug abusers. The situation is, sadly, rampant in most learning institutions where the young people get involved in unprotected sex when drunken.

In most cases, they end up regretting when they realize they have just got into a situation that they are sure of their status. Only if they had taken a little of the drink for they to control their psychological status would they have remembered to use a condom that they held so dearly.

It is one thing to carry a condom everywhere, but it is another thing to use it wisely. Changing ones behaviour to control oneself would work a great miracle to help people think before doing anything.

This means that a lot of energy should be invested on ensuring that we can control ourselves and that ABC alone can not help us when it comes to HIV/Aids infections. This goes also to those who infect others either knowingly or unknowingly. It is from thorough understanding of human nature that we will be in a position to break through the barrier of behaviour change. It is true that it is a difficult thing to, but it is a journey worth starting. As one of the famous Chinese proverb puts it, “A journey of a thousands miles starts with one step.”

Behaviour change could be the best bet for us to control the HIV/Aids and though it could prove to be a difficult task, it could prove to be an initiative worth pursuing. Borrowing from the traditional informal teachings especially in the African context may be the best template to showcase how best family units can help instill societal values including the fight against HIV/Aids. All the family unit needs to do is to engage the family members in talks that will encourage self guidance.



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Erick Ochieng Otieno

I was a student from Egerton University. I pursued a course leading to a BSc in Applied Aquatic Sciences. I believe that through writing, one can relieve a lot from the heart. Inspiration came from hearing and reading. Whoever said that you have to be an old one to communicate issues of policies, did not consider that even a newborn communicates through its own way, "crying". I would like to communicate to the world all my thoughts; However minor they are, I believe they will go a great length to straighten or strengthen a policy or two somewhere and I shall have contributed to the well being of the world. How noble that is, it is for my worthy readers to let me know. So what do you think? Tell me anytime. Bye and have a nice reading.
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