AIDS in Tanzania: one man’s story

A couple days ago I found this opinion article from a Tanzanian paper.  I have to say, this is one of the most poignant and accessible pieces of writing on HIV/AIDS that I’ve read in quite a while.  Henria Stephens, the author of the article, combines an overview of AIDS in Tanzania with the story of an acquaintance’s death.  The result is an article that is both sad and, in a strange way, beautiful.

Click the link below to read a few highlights from the article.  Better yet, click here to read the whole thing.

Excerpts from Henria Stephens’s July 1 article:

          What was once a hushed away sickness has finally come to the forefront of the media, government policy, and Tanzanian society.
          The ‘scourge’ now has a name, and champions in the fight against it, who come from all levels of civil society, and all walks of life. […]

          Two days after his death, it was time for Lyle [a co-worker of one of Stephens’s close friends] to return home. We met his body at the morgue.
          The pickup truck that took him from the hospital to the morgue was now decked out in flowers and full of Lyle’s friend’s – ready to accompany him to his family.
          As we turned out of the hospital grounds, singing began, not mournful tunes, but rather songs of homecoming.
          Through the streets of Kinondoni we drove, the procession went slowly, forcing passers by to acknowledge life, and death. […]

          I was shocked to read that a 2007 Aids Epidemic Update funded by UNAIDS found that activities that can protect against sexual transmission of HIV are declining in some sections of Tanzanian society.
          Reduced condom use and multiple partners were the two leading causes for this reversal. […]

          Lyle was the sole provider for his family and a man in his prime when he died. […]

          Let’s look towards a future where prevention is really seen as better than cure, so that his death may prove not to have been in vain.

Again, click here for the full article.

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~ by h.e.g. on July 3, 2008.

One Response to “AIDS in Tanzania: one man’s story”

  1. Wow! Thanks for posting my article, I’m glad you liked it. Yours is the first commentary I have received.

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