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It is really sad to absorb the state of affairs in Zimbabwe; for a country which used to be one of the richest in Africa. A decade ago the economy was almost twice as big as it is today hence poverty and unemployment rate are both endemic in Zimbabwe driven by the shrinking economy and hyper-inflation. Experts attribute Zimbabwe’s situation is due to two main factors – the deteriorating economy without sign of improvement and HIV/AIDS. In effect, the motto- Unity, Freedom and Work is a gimmick.

There is certainly no doubt that HIV/AIDS has had massive impact on the world’s population in general and the Sub- Saharan region in particular. However, it is equally a known fact that the prevalence of water and sanitation - related diseases in Africa has resulted to a greater mortality vis-à-vis HIV/AIDS.

HIV/AIDS is just another ill health condition just like any other but with its own peculiarities. Scientist profess that no disease is so widely misunderstood or as controversial as AIDS and has captured attention due to its abrupt apocalyptic appearance and it’s almost certain fatal outcome.

AIDS is simple in neither cause nor effect. Basically, it is a life-treating disruption of the immune system by HIV. This virus progressively weakens the body’s ability to fight off diseases, opening it to severe infections with both common and exotic organisms, as well as various forms of cancer.

Apparently HIV is particularly dangerous because it can lie hidden for years thus; someone infected by HIV may not yet have AIDS nor experience any symptoms. As symptoms related to the viral infection begin to appear, the term AIDS - Related Complex – ARC is often used to describe the situation, only when the immune system nears total collapse is a patient said to have AIDS. Victims who are on antiretroviral treatment and strive to live a normal life can actually live for several years.

HIV has sparked tremendous fear and controversy, not only because of whom it attacks and the way it is transmitted, but because of its hidden nature and lethal results. Nonetheless, ignoring all odds victims should not be despair and give up on life; instead it would be worthwhile for them to make the best of life.

Certainly victims experience stigmatization but they are equally encouraged to live a normal and good life. Some victims as noted becomes repugnant and dubious thereby embarking in a contamination binge holding they never bought the disease neither did they commit any mortal sin to be afflicted by such nightmare. This is wrong, I beseech victims to be selfless and endeavour to limit the spread of the disease by advising others and utilsing preventive measures to curb the spread of the disease.

Many victims are now HIV/AIDS Advocates and Counselors and some from their life demises are now open to better opportunities through the help of philanthropic organizations, they are trained to sensitise and educate others. HIV/AIDS victims should please join in this fight rather than aggravating the situation.

Comment on this Post


Dear Enie

Thank you for your post.

I would like to respectfully request that we stop referring to people with HIV/AIDS as victims. I am HIV-positive myself. For the first few months, I accepted the label victim that health care providers, my relatives, and the community at large placed on me. I wallowed in self-pity and lived a life where I believed society owed me, and expected everyone around me to sympathise. That is now a part of the tapestry along my life journey.

Moving from victim mode to survivor mode transformed me into someone with a zest for living, no guilt feelings, and an important part of my extended family and the society around me. While I have used my life experiences, including HIV-infection, as a way to make a difference in my community and country, I do not take HIV-infection as a qualification. All I have done, I have had to prove my worth in doing it, maybe even with greater effort than those who are HIV-negative, or do not know their status.

The victim label can lead many to succumb to victim mode, and that can be very dangerous for themselves, and the communities around them. Survivors ensure they lead prevention efforts, and their infection is not spread to others.

Thank you, and take care Martha

The struggle chose me and made me who I am.

Martha, frankly i am quite impress with your remark. and i find it useful. Before it was 'patient' and now they use victims.

Perhaps as you may be aware i have an HIV/AIDS column with The Zimbabwean Newspaper and i'm sincerely glad to know someone from Zimbabwe who is HIV- POSITIVE.

Please if you wouldn't mine, i will love to be in touch with your activities and i will also like to interview you. If you accept my plea, please email me.

Thanks again and i'm glad to come acroos some one as dynamic as you. I'm looking forward to hear from you.

Wishing you all the best and love