IMAGE COURTESY OF
THE 2013 THEME FOR WORLD AIDS DAY IS “SHARED RESPONSIBILITY; STRENGTHENING RESULTS FOR AN AIDS~FREE GENERATION “
Approximately one in six Batswana has HIV, giving Botswana the second highest infection rate in the WORLD,( you can imagine I have met some ignorant people who asked me if I have HIV/AIDS because of my country being the second highest in the world) after nearby Swaziland.The government recognizes that AIDS will affect the economy and is trying to combat the epidemic, including free anti-retroviral (ARV) drug treatment and a nation-wide Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission program.
Botswana has reduced HIV transmission from infected mothers to their children from about 40% to just 4%. To come from a highly infected and affected country in Africa I understand how stressful and hurting it is to have HIV/AIDS. This disease is not really a bad disease if you live a healthy lifestyle after finding out that you are infected, also the family support is so vital.
It doesn’t mean that you have to be infected to care about others who are infected because if you are not infected you are affected.
HERE ARE SOME FACTS ABOUT HIV/AIDS
★ HIV stands for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a virus which attacks the body’s immune system ~the body’s defence against diseases.
★ HIV can be passed on through infected bodily fluids, most commonly via sex without a condom or by sharing infected needles, syringes or other injecting drug equipment.
★ There are now more people than ever living with HIV in the in the world— with a quarter of those people are unaware they have the virus.
★ You can now get tested for HIV using a saliva sample in some already developed countries not in developing countries.
★ HIV is not passed on through spitting, biting or sharing utensils
★ You can get the results of an HIV test in just 15-20 minutes
★ There is no vaccine and no cure for HIV
In my Botswana the HIV/AIDS testing centres, hospitals and clinics offer free testing and if you are affected you get enrolled for ARV treatment.
PLEASE GO GET TESTED 😉 MANY HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T GET TESTED IN TIME.