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"you are HIV positive until you test negative"

To all readers in the west,
I live in a country in Africa called Botswana. This is a country where 1 in 3 people are HIV positive. To tell the truth I believe that this is not a true representation of the devastating impact this disease has had on our society. Every single day, somebody passes away due to complications arising from the infection. The hospitals cannot and are clearly under tremendous strain due to the influx of HIV positive patients. They are sleeping on floors now, Lord have mercy on them! As I walk down the street I see the virus everywhere, people with the symptoms of fully blown AIDS. We are faced with what I believe is the extinction of the nation.


I have read alot of stories from people overseas, mainly the western world and I tell you now, you are in a very fortunate position, HIV positive or not. Why? You do not have to struggle to eat, or find water, you are at most employed, you can afford and have easy access to the drugs that are needed to extend the life of one infected. What i am trying to point out is that although the fight is the same, the weapons you have are much stronger and hence you have a better chance of 'normal living'. Infact, you are living 'positive' normal lives. People are attached daily here by opportunistic diseases because of the unhealthy environment they live in.


Somebody can die here not because of the virus but because of the lack of money to feed themself, to eat the required healthy diet. Our country gives out the HIV treament for free at government hospitals because they have realised that the virus is wiping us out, but what use is the pill, I ask, if you cannot accompany it with the right lifestyle. The songs have all been sung, abstain, be faithful and use a condom...to no avail. This is a very terrible disease that has destroyed the life we once knew, but there is hope because we are still alive, we are not dead and we can fight this virus.
There is a saying here that, you are HIV positive until you test negative, and on that note there are millions of us who are infected. May God bless us all and give us the strength to overcome this disease.

 

Sent via Email - Jan 8, 2004. Botswana, Africa.

 
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