Posted on | August 31, 2012 by Wendy Wright |
Uganda was the great success story in reducing HIV/AIDS. Now, a member of the generation that benefited worries that Uganda’s “image of reversing the scourge in the early 1990’s has since dissipated.”
Why? Because messages of abstinence and fidelity – the keys to preventing HIV/AIDS – have been abandoned as money flows to groups that advertise, practice and subsidize risky sexual behaviors.
Eddie Ssemakula writes in “THE ABANDONED FIRSTBORN CHILD OF UGANDA’S ABC STRATEGY“:
Is Uganda losing it via HIV Prevention?
I heard someone say at a conference the other day that Uganda was embarrassed at the recent 2012 World AIDS Conference in Washington.
Apparently, our image of reversing the scourge in the early 1990’s has since dissipated.
We no longer have a President and his wife on a Jeep upcountry telling 15 year olds that they can delay sexual debut until marriage.
Instead, we have a bunch of senior six vacists tossing off their blouses at a rooftop city hangout in the middle of the city while boogying to Ragga Dee’s “Am in love with a stranger” .
We now have a high school generation loaded with more rubber than character.
Parented by television, they have never witnessed a dying AIDS patient in their lifetime, to them,
HIV is like the little bug they watched in a sci-fi movie last night.
The only antivirus they know is online, but who can blame them? Gone are the days of the drum alerting through our uncle’s small radio during supper.
Meantime, Character development has gone to the dogs (or the dogs have come to it) expatriates are telling senior three boys how they actually have no control over their sexual desires, so a condom in their wallets during prep time is safety – safety! So to speak.
Restraint to them is what a bicycle is to zebra.
On the other hand, a youthful field officer is laughing away in an upcountry hotel; he’s on assignment from his foreign funded NGO. His field expectations do not rise above Per diem and Pork. In fact, his accommodation facilitation will pay for two tonight.
Back to the city, the office is closed and the rest of the staff is away in an afternoon Workshop.
“Most at risk groups (MAPS)”, “Human Right Gaps” “MSM “(to mean Men having sex with Men cum “homosexuality”) “ is the sophiscated language you will hear on the podium. Meanwhile, the day’s newspaper features a story,”Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donates $300m worth of contraceptives.”
Whatever happened to the “riskier” groups like those that have chosen restraint before marriage? As our colleagues get rewarded with rubber,we struggle to finish the rent bill for an abstinence rally. Precisely, incentives instead go to those who have cast off restraint.
If indeed HIV is a behavioral issue, perhaps a character based approach is the way to go. And character that lasts is fundamentally spiritual. Let’s go back to what worked.
Wise was the one who asked,
“When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)
As statistics read “130,000 new infections”,i still struggle to answer that fellow Ugandans.I hope you’ve got some answers.