Denials over HIV may be fatal for future generations

It is almost unbelievable that we are fast approaching the end of yet another year in which the rate of HIV infections steadfastly refuses to drop.

It is almost unbelievable that we are fast approaching the end of yet another year in which the rate of HIV infections steadfastly refuses to drop.

Sometimes I deceive myself into thinking that the number of people infected with HIV is coming down, but that the challenges of accounting is where the biggest predicament lies.

In this particular instance, I try to find feeble excuses in the same way that a striker might blame the colour of the jersey for missing inviting chances during a game of football.

However, the reality of HIV-Aids and how we have collectively responded to averting this unprecedented scourge leaves a lot to be desired.

For starters, over decades our strategies have dismally failed to acknowledge that HIV exposure and the subsequent infection was a personal matter.

In other words, before HIV becomes a governmental, national or a community issue it starts with an individual and how that person chooses to deal with it.

However, our interventions have been deliberately designed to conscientise the nation and communities instead of appealing directly to someone, all of us, who are constantly exposed to infection either by our own doings or through unforeseen and regrettable circumstances such as the brutality of rape.

None of the billions of rand spent on countless campaigns actually focus on the societal dynamics and practical issues that remain so tempting that individuals choose to ignore the increased risk of infection.

There are no interventions that clearly demonstrate how individuals must conduct themselves in the process of having sex, which remains the most practical form of transferring this incurable infection, particularly focusing on the younger generations.

For instance, it takes less than 14 seconds for me to roll on a condom even in the imminent excitement of engaging in a passionate session of making love or having sex or a quickie or whatever you prefer.

In all the years and experience, both good and forgettable, I have never seen a broken or a burst condom.

The simple truth is that our interventions are ineffective simply because they are too hyper-sensitive.

They therefore miss the point and are considered to be ridiculing to the mind of the targeted audience.

I have resolved, in an attempt to measure up to the reality and the scale and brutality of the challenge that lies before us, to be uncompromising in my own personal resolve to deal with this pandemic.

I therefore wish to take this opportunity to appeal to every individual's urgent and direct response as we approach and celebrate International World Aids Day on December 1, to accept that a spade will never be a big spoon.

As individuals, each and every one of us must accept that beating about the bush is not serving the interest of anyone of us - either one is infected or is not.

There is no middle ground, the fence is too fragile for anyone to stand on.

In fact, if you continue to make excuses, then you are simply exposing your own ignorance, which may prove to be fatal, not only to yourself, but also to the generations that will follow.