A simple reminder about the dangers of HIV-Aids

A few months ago I was introduced to two strikingly beautiful white women by Sowetan's acting editor-in-chief, Bongani Keswa. In my area of work I meet and interact with a lot of people from all walks of life.

A few months ago I was introduced to two strikingly beautiful white women by Sowetan's acting editor-in-chief, Bongani Keswa. In my area of work I meet and interact with a lot of people from all walks of life.

It is important to mention that most of these people are drawn from those who form the majority of our populace - women.

I am uncertain as to whether this is a mere coincidence but I enjoy it because I have a penchant for beautiful women mostly because they possess this amazing natural ability to boost my immune system immensely. Besides, it always feels wonderful to be the protective thorn among the colourful roses.

In case you are being misled, meeting Beverly Katz and Marina Coleman was not a social call but it was deeply rooted in our shared commitment to address the plight of all our people affected by HIV and Aids.

Their enthusiasm is refreshingly different in an infected world where inaction, monotony, politics and fatigue has replaced the initial energetic resolve to deal decisively with this largely sexually transmitted and incurable infection.

A few weeks after our meeting I learnt that an important part of Marina's plans entailed authoring an illustrative book simply titled HIV and Aids. I then introduced her to our industrious cartoonist Sifiso Yalo.

The trio's combined talent, commitment and refreshing creativity has culminated in a colourful, factual, humorous, easy to read and educative book that is suitable for all members of a family.

I must hasten to say that I feel particularly proud that I offered my humble support to such a simple, yet profound project that I sincerely hope will be shared by millions of all our people.

I know that children and young people will find it exciting because it not another typical novel or anecdotal rendition of how devastating HIV and Aids is but it is simply a well researched illustrative book that tells the powerful story of HIV from its history to how one can live productively with this devastating virus.

The one part in the book that seriously amused me is where a truck driver meets a sex worker and they engage in negotiations for the exchangeable service (pun unintended) and the visible back of the truck reads, and I quote: "Report bad driving."

I immediately felt a strong connection with the book. All of the time there are loud signs and silent warnings that keep reminding all of us about the reality and the danger of HIV and Aids.

This book is relevant particularly to those among us who cannot read because these eloquent pictures tell the story in a clear, unambiguous, sensitive and with the eternal hope that it will be a catalyst to the elusive impact of changing behaviour.

I have impressed upon the author that I would be more pleased to learn that this book - HIV and Aids - can be translated into other languages because accessibility and relevance is paramount if it is to fulfil its intended promise.

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