AIDS = Africa is dying slowly

September 30, 2007 at 10:59 am | Posted in Health | 6 Comments
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In 1996, bands like the Wu-Tang, Coolio, De La Soul and Mobb Deep recorded the album America is dying slowly. Having spent nearly two years of my life in Southern Africa and knowing the HIV/AIDS prevalence in Southern African countries ranges between 15 and 34% (according to the 2006 UNAIDS report) I immediately re-translate this slogan for myself to AFRICA IS DYING SLOWLY. [In North America and Central Europe, by comparison, we are looking at 0.5-1% of people living with HIV].

Given this fact, I am once again shocked by a recent statement of another African patriarch, this time Archbishop Francisco Chimoio from Mozambique, who believes that condoms produced in Europe are tainted with the AIDS virus and that AIDS therefore is another attempt of the white man to extinct the African people, a statement by which he discourages people from using condoms. The BBC reports:

Archbishop Chimoio told our reporter that abstention, not condoms, was the best way to fight HIV/Aids. “Condoms are not sure because I know that there are two countries in Europe, they are making condoms with the virus on purpose,” he alleged, refusing to name the countries. “They want to finish with the African people. This is the programme. They want to colonise until up to now. If we are not careful we will finish in one century’s time.” Aids activists in the country have been shocked by the archbishop’s comments.

Another horror story to add to the horrifying belief that sex with a virgin can cure HIV (which made the numbers of child rape rise in Southern Africa), the stance of present South African health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang that garlic and beetroot can be a cure for AIDS, or Thabo Mbeki’s proposal that HIV was not the cause of AIDS.
Global HIV infection

Shudder.

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6 Comments »

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  1. Really shocking. I wonder what the strategy or politics of the various denials and false solutions are in the interest of?

  2. For one, they serve patriarchy – raping a female child suddenly is transformed into an act informed by a certain rationality (that is not available to female people with HIV/AIDS – it’s not part of the myth that raping a boy will cure a female).

    Regarding the wondrous ideas about HIV not being the cause for AIDS and that certain nutritional practices can cure it: This is a laywoman’s view, but from my experience there is a great desire in (Southern) Africa to articulate an alternative reality (understandably), one that has not been created my white people. The equivalent to the white man’s medicine is the recipe of the Sangoma (medicine man) that also involves certain nutritional practices – I guess there is a link here, in the denial that Western medicine is the only cure (and it’s true that the West does not accept any other views in the biological department).

    Another aspect of the desire to have an alternative reality acknowledged is the going back to the trauma that colonialism has afflicted upon Africa – and there really hardly has been a bit of time for Africa to lick their wounds. While one may not accept Mbeki’s conclusion, namely that AIDS is caused directly by poverty, it is of course true: The AIDS pandemic is so dramatic in Africa because of the poverty, by the damage that has been done to families in the apartheid system, the brutalization that it has brought along.

    And regarding the archbishop: He is just fueling an idea that has been circulating for a while in the black community of Southern Africa, namely that the main purpose of the HIV awareness campaigns is to make blacks use condoms, but not with the end stop HIV, but with the aim to stop blacks from reproducing.

    Part of the apartheid ideology was the idea of ‘die swart gevaar’, the black danger, the impossibility of controlling the black masses, which led to tearing families apart and housing them on wastelands in the townships and all the other horror that we know of.

    It’s now coming back in the fear of black people that whites are now simply using something else a cover up for the same old thing.

    I doubt that the archbishop really has names of such two companies and I think that he knows that he doesn’t (apart from that, the virus would not survive on the surface of a condom for months). I guess he is merely instrumentalizing the above-mentioned fear in order to propagate abstention.

    • have you ever been to africa? have you ever lived there? i do and i have seen first hand the spread of hiv and aids. condoms in africa are incredibly cheap and free in many places yet the belief that it is “contaminated” by the evil white man keeps people from using it. the “god would never let me get hiv” keeps people from using it. the insanly high prevalence of one night stands, “friends with benifits”, multiple g/f or b/f, rapes, and the idea that frequenting protitutes is nothing to be ashamed of has caused this huge bloom of infection. come down here and ask around, you’ll find people who are no older then 25 who are proud, PROUD of the fact they have had 30+ sexual partners so far in thier life. there was a girl who was interviewed in my town who bragged about having 4 men a day for almost 3 years thats 5000 men. and she is proud! changing the ideas on sex is the only way to stem the spread of the disease!

      • yes, I’ve lived in africa for 20 months. have you actually read my blog post? because you sound like you thought I denied that AIDS was a major issue in africa.

  3. Yeah…in 2004 the Catholic Church had to issue an apology, since some of their missionaries in Africa tried to convince people that condoms cause AIDS.

  4. Couple of years back for a presentation on a NGO, I had to research AIDS related stats..I was shocked to find how AIDS is killing many countries in Africa..The numbers were phenomenonal..much more people had been killed due to AIDS than the deadliest tsunami occured in late 2004..The life expectancy at birth for South Africans and people in many other African countries has fallen dramitically..for ex from 65 to 39!!
    There is lot of nonsense going on which is making things worse..like what you wrote abt weird beliefs going around and corrupt plus backward governments..
    It’s really very sad and takes all human development and evolution to naught..


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