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AIDS: The Shame of a Nation

October 18, 2013

One of the leading issues in many of the nations we live and work in is HIV/AIDS.

The statistics from South Africa on this issue are shocking.  Conservative estimates place infection rates at 10% of the nation, or over 5 million cases. Roughly 4 out of 5 cases are among women ages 20-24. Roughly 4 out of 5 cases are among women ages 20-24. This may be connected to other shocking statistics about the prevalence  rape and incest in the nation.

You would assume with these facts, the signs of this disease would be everywhere. Only they are not.

The shame of this disease hides it from the public eye, keeping it as a private issue. It is illegal to ask someone their status. The numbers alone make it a reality that many we work with will have this disease, but often we do not know this as a fact. In my eight years in this nation, I have met two which have declared their status or confided in me. A young South African man who grew up in the impoverished townships says he too only knows of two.