Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
THE critical importance of the Greater Involvement of People living with HIV-Aids was highlighted almost 12 years ago by the United Nations.
Over the years that concept was aptly changed to Meaningful Involvement of People living with HIV-Aids, yet we continue to disregard the crucial role that these prominent individuals can play as we collectively strive to avert the challenges posed by this parasitic and thankless virus.
Almost a decade ago I argued, and I still hold this view close to my heart, that any attempt to curb the perpetual scourge of HIV and Aids will fail unless we strategically place those infected individuals who possess the skill, the passion and the commitment to drive interventions that are particularly aimed at prevention.
Whatever happened to the adage "It takes a thief to catch a thief"? I
Needless to say, the government has spent billions to address this issue, civil society has been galvanised to be patriotic, business is still attempting to find its own niche in this struggle for life, against HIV-Aids.
There are a number of best practices that one can quote and be proud of but the embarrassing reality of the situation is that people living with HIV remain out of the bigger picture.
The status quo persists as it seems the period of intense activism has been thrown into the dustbin of our bloodstained history.
New Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi has been like a breath of fresh air, though it seems he is also failing, dismally, not only to acknowledge but also to ensure that people living with HIV remain central to any intervention that might be employed at the highest level. After all, it is the more than six million of these people who hold the key to whether the scourge of HIV is averted or not.
The money that is spent is not infected, the food parcels that we distribute are not infected. It is human beings, South Africans, who are bearing the brunt of this epidemic, every second, every minute and every hour of the day.
Refrain from dealing with our future, our issues and our destiny on our behalf when we can do it ourselves.
Any attempt to do so will come crashing down and history will judge you harshly.