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World Aids Day 2013

The Poverty of HIV*

I thought I was poor because I had no shoes,
Then I saw a man who had no feet…
I thought life had been cruel to me,
Then I saw those who faced a far worse heat.

In the hospital I saw many patients
Who had to face the discomfort of TB*
Those who bravely learnt about diseases
Where healing was delayed because of HIV*

Why can’t we learn to protect ourselves?
Why can’t we learn to stay infection free?
TB*, cancer and diseases everywhere
Heal slowly, affecting our people, you and me.

HIV* is still with us and we live with it daily.
We cannot cure it as it has us beat.
I thought I was poor because I had no shoes,
‘Til I saw a man who had no feet…

Teresa Denton
South African community health nurse, HIV educator and HIV counsellor

Our goal should be to educate people about the effects of HIV/Aids and the impact it has on families and communities. A lot more needs to be done to eliminate the ignorance and prevent the dissemination of inaccurate information that surrounds the disease.

Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest prevalence of HIV in the world and sadly there are over five million people infected with HIV in South Africa today. The young people know that it has become a manageable disease and that they will get financial assistance from the state if they are infected. Many of them are thus not taking the precautions they need in order to protect themselves and their sexual partners.

The theme for World Aids Day 2013 is “Shared Responsibility: Strengthening Results for an AIDS-Free Generation.”

The most important messages that accompanies the theme in 2013 are:

1. Everyone is urged to get themselves tested so that they know their status
2. Men are encouraged to get themselves circumcised, as this reduces the risk of transmission

HIV is a silent killer unless we show our support for those living with the disease and by raising the awareness. So, let's start to speak about it - let’s make some noise!

*TB - Tuberculosis
*HIV - Human Immunodeficiency Virus

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