World Aids Day cartoon

World Aids Day cartoon

World Aids Day – Know Your Status!

1 December 2010 has arrived and it is time to observe World AIDS day once more. The day aims to increase awareness of HIV/ AIDS throughout the world and it is particularly relevant for Africa given the high infection rate on the continent.

Between 1981 and 2007, the disease – or if you so choose to believe, the conspiracy of the Western world against black Africans (a la AIDS denialists including some notably senior politicians in the region) – has killed over 25,000,000 people. Over 33 million people are estimated to be living with HIV at present around the world – not an insignificant number at all. Over a quarter million deaths from AIDS each year are children born of an HIV positive mother.

Know your status

Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys and a few other international celebrities have decided to deprive their hoards of fans of their twitter musings for the day in support of World Aids Day. Even South African celebrities including DJ Alex Jay and Nicole Flint, Ms South Africa 2009, joined the international drive to encourage people to know their HIV status. Awareness of whether you are affected or not is obviously critical in helping curb the growth of the AIDS pandemic. With the dramatic improvements in treatment over the last 5 years, the quality of life of those affected can be substantially improved, particularly with early detection.

Truvada, also known as the AIDS pill, has reduced the risk of HIV transmission by 50% to 73% in men. The Microbicide gel for women which is still due to be released will further help reduce the spread of AIDS. The greatest impact however will be the change in attitudes toward HIV/AIDS especially among young people, and the consequently more prudent behaviour associated with those new attitudes. Last week’s article on Wonkie spoke of the low value of life in developing countries. Getting tested is one more step people can take to show that they do in fact value life – not only of others around them but also their own.

Given the applaudable precedent set by Jacob Zuma in South Africa earlier this year (see Jacob Zuma HIV status), Wonkie is curious to see if he will join the Know your Status awareness drive today.

PS: For those readers who did not get the reference to FourSquare.com in today’s cart00n, be sure to check out the site. It’s an innovative new social network that takes the likes of facebook one step further and offline. It enables members to ‘check-in’ to various locations using their mobile phones. You can also tell which of your friends are in the area if you’d like to meet them, or check out recommendations/ warnings others have posted about things to do in the part of the city you’re in. As you check-in to more locations, you unlock various badges ranging from newbie to the virtual ‘mayor’ of a place. Wonkie sincerely hopes that there are many, many foursquare.com check-ins in HIV testing centres around the country today.

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Comments

  1. Great cartoon and thanks so much for promoting awareness… we really need it. I’m based in Uganda and the drive here really helped keep HIV infection rates down tremendously over the last decade.

    Keep up the great work!
    Anna

  2. Hastheworldgonecrazy says:

    Once again, Wonkie, an absolute GEM! 10/10! I, too, sincerely hope that this day is a HUGE success, and helps raise awareness throughout the continent and the world. However, I feel that we should be focusing on dispelling the myths that surround HIV/AIDS as well. There are still those males who believe that they will be cured if they have sex with a virgin, and those who will eat various human body parts in the belief that they will be cured! We need to educate people, and make them aware of not only the disease, but controlling it correctly, without witchcraft, and consideration towards any future partners.
    Thank you, Wonkie, for raising this very important issue.

  3. i cant believe that ‘awareness’ is the problem and that it is still a drum that needs to be beaten….. a person who gets treatment – even when in an advanced stage at diagnosis – WILL get better !!!! and can live as if it’s not there. They will very much more likely more likely die from something else – it will not be the HIV that kills them. The problems that really need attention is our government needing to make the drugs more readily and cheaply available and to get the staff at the hospitals and clinics to get their heads out their bums in the way they treat the poorer people who come to clinics and need them. They ridicule and insult them. They do not have the luxury of going to a private doctor or to receive them via courier from their medical aid delivered to their door. And thirdly there are the young people who are still rolling around like happy chickens indulging in prolific unresponsible sex and are asking for trouble of their own free will. I sometimes feel that the free’er the drugs the more rampant it will get and then when they realize that it’s actually a manageable and treatable condition it wil go even more haywire. People are pathetic in the extreme amd since time started they indulge at will and suffer at leasure. As for the crackpots who believe their sick actions against innocents will cure it – the ones who do that would probably rape someone some time in their lives anyway and that is a whole other problem.

  4. pietpompies says:

    It is all very noble to see the exposure which HIV Aids get, but personally I’m getting a bit ‘gatvol’ of all this on radio and TV. I’m tired of listening to how to use condoms and all that. The listeners and viewers must know by now all the facts!!!!!

  5. Ol' Pliny says:

    Mycheyp, the most knowledgeable about human nature said, “For you have the poor
    with you always.” (Matt 26:11) Perhaps he mused, “…and the flies that follow them”

    As can be expected, ‘the poor’ are mostly uneducated, especially in matters of hygiene.
    It’s of even greater concern when their leaders set a poor example, especially regarding sexual matters.

    When we came to Gonubie in 1990 the usual housefly often came into our homes.
    Soon after Blacks moved in, big green bottle flies followed in hordes. Nearly every home had fly
    traps suspended from garden trees. The cause was obviously the slaughter of animals in yards.
    It was the blood and other matter that was left on lawns. The flies remain, though on a lesser scale.

    Here in Gonubie, piles of excrement may be seen in various open places. Even women can be
    seen urinating – and often right in the centre of town.
    This ‘Know your status’ campaign can be likened to locking the stable after the horse has bolted.
    In the early Mosaic days, people had to go outside their camps and bury their excrement.
    Seems no one recognises the real priorities.

  6. ol’pliny …. i laughed at your “EVEN the women wee” …… what did you think ….that theirs evaporated in the wind’s of EL …. surely if you are going to do it in public it doesn’t matter what sex you are ….or are you saying that men are more expected to pee like cattle where ever they find themselves because they can stay standing ?

  7. pietpompies says:

    “know your status” on HIV testing. I will in principle not go for a test because I KNOW my status – ” I DON’T STUFF AROUND!!!!!”

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