Standing together against our foe

hiv-aids-prevention-vaccine-invented-by-kenyan-student

To empower the enemy, we were supposed to cover our heads in shame. We would put on sack cloth and mourn with ash on our heads for those he has devoured.

Instead, we choose to preach abstinence to our youths. We have agreed to show love and compassion to those he has bedridden. Together we have vowed to end stigma and discrimination. It’s true not all of us have been infected, but almost every household has been affected.

In this time we are living, we have all accepted that HIV/AIDS resides among us, but as a nation there is a need to stand in solidarity rather than ostracizing those living positively.

As a nation, a little ride into the memory lane will prove that 2016 is a year that has torn apart the fabric that holds us together as Malawians. Debates on homosexuality and abortions have caused daggers to be drawn in the body of Christ; the church, the very haven that we hoped would unite us.

Amid all the heat, one fact cannot be argued; that HIV/AIDS continues to prey on us. Silently wrecking homes, a disease that has left 530 000 hopeless and helpless orphans in the care or lack thereof the many mushrooming non-governmental organizations, of which many of them just remind the kids the pangs of orphan-hood.

Where do we go from here?

That is the question that every well-meaning citizen is supposed to ponder on. For many campaigns have been championed, all aimed at fighting the Aids pandemic.

With HTC service centers scattered across the country, ART treatment readily available to those diagnosed and many organizations preaching the gospel of abstinence and faithfulness, what role can a common citizen play?

There is a need to go back to the social fabric that has for years tightened us together; unity and solidarity. It is time to stand with those infected and affected. Together, we can end AIDS.

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