“Fistly let’s talk about AIDS: I think the first reason why we have such a high incidence of AIDS, I think, is ignorance. People are ignorant. They cannot read on their own in the newspapers and appreciate the danger which surrounds the whole issue of HIV and AIDS. As a result people still get infected. People do not take the proper precautions to protect themselves. So, I would say, ignorance is a very big factor.
Secondly we have a lot of poverty around us, o.k. poverty means people are not able to afford good food and of course then their body resistance is low. It is easy for the virus to attack them and I think that is also a very important issue. Of couse, what causes poverty is unemployment in our area in the past we used to have lots of factories. People came from all over the country to get jobs. Many of the factories in fact have closed down.
But you still have many of these people still in the area. They don’t have jobs, so they are poor and so the they cannot sustain themselves.
You have vicious cycle: Poverty – Malnutrition – Low resistance – high incidents of infection.
From the unemployment you also have another problem, because the young girls now they are out of work. So they have to prostitute to make a living. As a result, of course, the rate of sexually transmitted diseases goes up and of course the AIDS epidemic is also speeded up in that way. Of course, also because of the fact that you have so many people who have come into this area we also have the problem of overcrowding, lack of homes for many people. They have to make shacks where they have to stay, and of course, you know, with overcrowding you have TB becomes rampant.
And I think the biggest suffering of HIV and AIDS is the isolation. It’s the isolation of a person being different and being marked as somebody who is diseased and people isolating you even their own family members sometimes isolating them, avoiding them, sort of being either ashamed of the disease or being sadly scared that it would be contagious and that they will become ill and of course we know it’s very well publicised these days that what can cause spread of the disease and what doesn’t, but there is still a lot of myths and a lot of sad misbeliefs about the disease that even by shaking somebody’s hand for instance you can contract the disease. So because of all that misunderstanding and lack of education of people do get isolated.
This page is part of "An Everlasting Brotherhood" - Video film about the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard
This page was last updated on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 12:50:20.