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Author Topic: 'Fight Aids in the way you battled apartheid'  (Read 933 times)

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Offline Cliff

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,645
'Fight Aids in the way you battled apartheid'
« on: August 15, 2006, 07:39:04 AM »
I'm glad Mr. Kim said this!  Hopefully it won't fall on deaf ears.
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'Fight Aids in the way you battled apartheid'
By Sam Lister
 
POLITICAL leaders in Africa have been urged to encourage HIV tests to help fight the spread of Aids and to lift the stigma attached to it.
Jim Yong Kim, the former director of the World Health Organisation’s HIV programme, added that those who defended a person’s right to refuse a test were doing unrealised damage.
 
Dr Kim said that Thabo Mbeki, the President of South Africa, was fostering a social crisis by refusing to embrace the reality of Aids.

Speaking to The Times at the start of the 16th International Aids Conference in Toronto, he called for a reappraisal of the role of human rights in the context of rapidly improving treatment options, which have transformed Aids from a death sentence to a chronic disease.

Dr Kim, the director of Harvard’s Francois Xavier Bagnoud Centre for Health and Human Rights, said: “There are people who are still saying that protecting a person’s right not to know [if they are HIV-positive] is the most important thing. But the particular human right is the right to die prematurely not knowing your HIV status. That just doesn’t make any sense to me. The conversation has to change because we now have different tools.”

He singled out South Africa, where an estimated 5 million of its 45 million population are infected with the virus. Dr Kim said: “Even under apartheid, South Africa has never faced anything that’s going to have the kind of impact on black Africans that Aids is having.

“I just wish that Mr Mbeki and the African National Congress would fight it the way they fought apartheid.”
 

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: 'Fight Aids in the way you battled apartheid'
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2006, 08:55:10 AM »
Hi Cliff,

The whole hiv stigma thing in South Africa is giving rise to another problem - obesity. I was reading an article yesterday (and I can't remember where on my surfing travels it was) that obesity and obesity related illnesses are on the rise in SA because people are getting fat on purpose to avoid being suspected of having hiv.

It looks like a long, hard fight ahead. But Mr. Kim's words bear repeating:
Quote
Dr Kim, the director of Harvard’s Francois Xavier Bagnoud Centre for Health and Human Rights, said: “There are people who are still saying that protecting a person’s right not to know [if they are HIV-positive] is the most important thing. But the particular human right is the right to die prematurely not knowing your HIV status. That just doesn’t make any sense to me. The conversation has to change because we now have different tools.”

Ann
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

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Offline Eldon

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  • Posts: 2,664
Re: 'Fight Aids in the way you battled apartheid'
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2006, 05:16:02 PM »
Hello Cliff and Ann, Dr. Kim is right in what he is saying. It does not make any sense why they will not get tested for the virus.

 


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