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Angie has what it takes to fight HIV

By unknown | Nov 26, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

FOR some people, being diagnosed with HIV can mean the end of the world - but not for Angie Diale.

FOR some people, being diagnosed with HIV can mean the end of the world - but not for Angie Diale.

After being diagnosed with HIV shortly after the birth of her son, who is now 10 years old, Diale had to deal with the harsh reality of being discriminated against because of her status. Instead of feeling pity for herself Diale, a qualified nurse, turned what others saw as a curse into a life-changing experience.

"I had to face the stigma and discrimination at work after disclosing my status but instead of feeling sorry for myself I decided to go on a journey to educate people about HIV and Aids," she says.

She began setting up HIV wellness clinics in various townships around Soweto and in Mpumalanga.

Her focus, she says, is not only to educate but also to work towards eradicating the stigma attached to HIV.

"I do radio and television programmes where I engage various people on the issue, especially the youth," she says.

Determined to make a difference, Diale not only empowered herself with information on HIV and Aids, she also made it her mission to include all stakeholders to ensure that the message filtered down to the relevant people.

"I advise the government, media, businesses and NGOs on HIV and Aids-related issues ranging from advocacy, prevention, care, support, treatment, capacity-building and mentoring to employment assistance programmes," she says.

She has also worked for World Vision South Africa in Orlando East, where she coordinated home-based care activities and support groups for people with HIV and Aids.

A staunch believer in community development, Diale, who has also worked as a content adviser and editor with the Gauteng education department on the development of life orientation modules for Grades 10, 11 and 12 that are part of the school curriculum, is not new to the world of activism.

During her youth in Meadowlands, Soweto, where she grew up, Diale and her peers were instrumental in bringing political change to their community.

She worked as a student nurse at Sandringham Gardens and later went on to the Johannesburg Hospital to further her career. She became involved in her local civic association as a health coordinator and founded the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA.

She has also assisted in the development of a pocket guide for nurses on HIV and Aids nursing care and has published articles on how parents can disclose their status to their children.

The highlights of her journey, she says, include being selected to facilitate the Solidarity Intergenerational Dialogue for the Office of the President and being nominated to be part of the Gauteng Inter-sectoral Aids Unit's new task team.

She also mentions her new television show, Relate, which is being screened on SABC1.

Caring never ends for Diale. Apart from being an agony aunt for Bona magazine and author of Goreng Basadi? Goreng Basadi? Why Women?, a book that focuses on challenges facing women, Diale recently established an organisation that provides shelter for HIV-positive and abused young mothers and their children.

"The aim is to keep them there until we find a permanent home for them."

She says her objectives in establishing the organisation are to prolong the lives of young mothers, develop their economic skills and reduce the number of orphaned and vulnerable children.

Diale believes that byproviding access to counselling and testing, making referrals to government sites for medical care, providing support and having access to treatment, the fight against the pandemic can be won.

She will be a guest speaker at the Sowetan Women's Club gathering next Thursday at Emperors Palace. The event, assisted by Revlon, Kahlua and Visa, starts at 6pm.

For bookings e-mail or call 082-071-0396.


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