Sho, when it comes to Taboo Topics, Living with HIV/Aids is one of those that has actually been taboo as opposed to simply rarely spoken about. While it doesn’t carry the same kind of shame and weight as it used to in the early days when a lot of misinformation was around, it is still something we rarely hear about, which is why i thought it was important to address it.
Statistics South Africa had this to say:
The estimated overall HIV prevalence rate is approximately 13,1% among the South African population. The total number of people living with HIV is estimated at approximately 7,52 million in 2018. For adults aged 15–49 years, an estimated 19,0% of the population is HIV positive.
But apart from the two people whose stories i have so far to share, which will drop in the next few days and the parent of a friend of mine and one of the staff at the Spur who died from Aids about twenty years ago, i don’t think i am actively aware of anyone else in or around my life who has HIV/Aids.
Which i don’t think means that there are not people i know who have it, but rather than it is still something that people struggle to speak about. Which is hopefully where this series will come in handy. Breaking some stigma and sharing some stories and inviting others to do the same.
How do we walk alongside those who have HIV/Aids well? Firstly, i think it begins by us listening to their stories and their fear and pain. And of course by educating ourselves about the disease.