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Author Topic: African Slang for H.I.V./AIDS  (Read 5330 times)

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Offline Miss Philicia

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African Slang for H.I.V./AIDS
« on: April 11, 2009, 06:45:14 PM »
from The New York Times April 11, 2009, 7:02 AM

Elsewhere: African Slang for H.I.V./AIDS

Pejorative terms (“the worm”) and euphemisms (“standing on a nail”) may be undermining African efforts to promote candid and caring discussion of H.I.V. and AIDS.

In a fascinating June 2008 article, IRIN/PlusNews reported that “while many communities struggled to break the silence about H.I.V. and AIDS formally, informal or slang terms for the epidemic were proliferating.” These terms, PlusNews observed, are “almost uniformly negative” and reinforce the stigma of the disease.

Below are some examples of African H.I.V./AIDS slang terms, from IRIN/PlusNews articles published in June 2008, November 2008 and April 2009.

Amesimamia Msumari | “Standing on a nail”; euphemism for being skinny … referring to AIDS-related weight loss. (Tanzania, Kiswahili.)

Ato Nai Ise | “Five and three” (5 + 3 = 8, and “eight” sounds like “AIDS”). (Nigeria, Igbo.)

Ba Mo Tshwarisiye Noga | “They threw a snake at him/her” – (refers to H.I.V.; the shock when someone discovers his or her status). (South Africa, Sepulana.)

Departure Lounge | An H.I.V.-infected person is in the departure lounge awaiting death. (Zimbabwe.)

F.T.T. | “Failure to thrive” (adapted from the medical phrase, now used to describe H.I.V.-positive children). (Zimbabwe.)

Ka-Onde-Onde | “Thing that makes you thinner and thinner.” (Zambia, Nyanja.)

Kabari Salama Aalaiku | “Excuse me, grave.” (Nigeria, Hausa.)

Kaleza | “Razor blade” (Refers to a person being thin as a result of AIDS-related weight loss). (Zambia, Bemba.)

Kukanyaga Miwaya | Contracting H.I.V. is like “stepping on a live wire.” (Tanzania, Kiswahili.)

Ogopa | “Fear” – a word used by young men to describe H.I.V.-positive women. (Kenya, Kiswahili.)

Omukithi Gwo Paive | “The disease of the present.” (Namibia, Oshiwambo.)

Onale Jwa Radio | “He/she has the disease talked about on the radio” (radio is the primary method of disseminating H.I.V./AIDS knowledge). (Botswana, Setswana.)

Pisar Na Mina | Contracting H.I.V. is like having “stepped on a landmine.” (Angola, Portuguese.)

Tewo Zamani | “Sickness of this generation.” (Nigeria, Hausa.)

Tracker | If you are suspected of being H.I.V. positive people say God is tracking you, like the popular southern African service that tracks and recovers stolen vehicles. (South Africa,)

Udlala Ilotto | “Playing the lotto” / ubambe ilotto – “won the lotto” (said of someone suspected of being H.I.V. positive; Lotto is the national lottery). (South Africa, Isixhosa and Isizulu.)
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Offline Ann

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Re: African Slang for H.I.V./AIDS
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2009, 05:05:56 AM »
When Foxtrot Charlie was an aid worker in east Africa in the 1990's, they just called it "slim". Seems they're getting more creative with the euphemisms.
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Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: African Slang for H.I.V./AIDS
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2009, 01:34:21 PM »
I love the idea of the Departure Lounge.  I hope that the chairs are comfy and padded.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline NHLA

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Re: African Slang for H.I.V./AIDS
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2009, 08:18:03 AM »
in south africa they say u driving a Z3...I didnt know u win a lotto as well :)

Offline DanKenny

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Re: African Slang for H.I.V./AIDS
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2009, 09:07:04 AM »
As an African, I have always known that the language surrounding HIV/AIDS in Africa is one of the strongest challenges confronting anti-stigma and behavioral changes in the region. The NYT couldn't have done better..... it is the daily discourse that needs to be confronted....

thanks for posting the link.
My Progress:

09/07:   771   ~    <50     ~   29%
03/07:   493   ~    227      ~   22%
02/07:   Began Meds ~~ ATRIPLA
01/07:   315   ~   45, 000  ~   18%
10/06:   350   ~   32, 430  ~   22%
04/06:   440   ~   23, 997  ~   24%
07/05:   621   ~   36,000   ~   24%
01/05:   842   ~   2306      ~   28%
07/04:   615   ~   3370      ~   27%
04/04:   674   ~   739        ~   26%
11/03:   439   ~   2800      ~   22%
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Offline John2038

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Re: African Slang for H.I.V./AIDS
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2009, 10:05:35 PM »
thanks for posting the link.

this make me think, why not just the link then ?

Online leatherman

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Re: African Slang for H.I.V./AIDS
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2009, 01:15:49 AM »
this make me think
John, you're a hoot ;D ROFL

personally, I thought "Excuse me, grave" was pretty apropos. I have been near my own "grave" twice, stood beside the graves of a couple handfuls of friends, and soon will be visiting the graveside of my first partner to commerate the 16 yrs that he's been buried there. On that visit, I'll also be observing the anniversary of scattering my second partner's ashes on that same grave just ONE year ago. Whether Nigeria or America, AIDS and graves do seem to go hand-in-hand. :(

but "they threw a snake at him" :o was the best one I thought. If that doesn't explain what it's like when you find out your poz status, I don't know what does. ;) Having owned a pet shop with my first partner (way back in the end of the 80s and the early 90s), I love the mental images and emotions this phrase evokes.
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Offline sharkdiver

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Re: African Slang for H.I.V./AIDS
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2009, 01:33:19 AM »
this make me think, why not just the link then ?

Because he wrote it to initiate conversation that people would be interested in.

Offline FrederickGNP+USA

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Re: African Slang for H.I.V./AIDS
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2009, 02:17:45 PM »
Yes.. an 20 milllion women, men and children both Black Africans and White African do not have the blessing of AIDS MEDs.  And I believe we in the USA would have other terms for AIDS if the Million HIV/AIDS people in the USA turned to 20 million with out treatment.  I pray and hope that more MEDS will come to Africa and the PHARMA will open up Generics earlier than their contract with USA Law of 20 years to mass produce these life saving drugs to help these woman,  men  and children. My hopes of sanity is that  our Global Communities will work on a comprimise to bring the pricies of AIDS drugs down from 1000 dollars a month for treatment of HIV diesiese or SLIM related illnessiness and bring supply up for all to have excess to AIDS Drugs.

White Page Memo

It would be cool if the USA would buy out Gilead patient of ATRIPA (for 5 billon dollars or so) and invest in 4 new manufacturing plants to floor the GLOBAL Market with ATRIPA for 25 cents a pills.  You see I see Gilead is like a Sex Worker for enought money they will proform any contract of compromised.

Love you Gilead.. and if this deal goes through, I like a royalty for my intellectual property concept.. Heee hee

Offline FrederickGNP+USA

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Re: African Slang for H.I.V./AIDS
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2009, 02:21:43 PM »
On the other hand if President Obama would call for a national emergency and Global emergency for HIV/AIDS and use  the Compulsory Licensing Law on Gilead to break the patient it would be all good with me too.  It is all about compromise I believe and learning to disagree.. disagreeably.

For what a wonderful day it will be when all will have excess to life saving drugs and inovation of the USA and G20 countries.

Peace and Lots of Love to Gilead  ;D

Offline U1195

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Re: African Slang for H.I.V./AIDS
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2009, 05:37:59 AM »
In my region of Cameroon,HIV/AIDS is simply called 8."He is sick of 8" someone said.
A neighbour of mein came from the city sick. This young man hat just been there for 6
months. he came back and was looking very thin. So poeple just suspected that he had
8. One day he entered a bar where people were drinking wein,and everyone just ran out
from the bar for fear of being infected.This young man died,and his sister too without
seeing aids medicines.
there is still much stigma,shame,and denial of hiv/aids in Cameroon eventhough people are dieing
everyday from it. Aids medicines are also scarce.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 05:51:29 AM by U1195 »


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