South Africa is one in few countries in Africa that show there is a chance of life improving in Africa, things like giving grants to every poor person, young to old. The government also gives houses to the poor, it is also one of the most liberated countries and level of equality between gender is far better than other countries. I can count all the best things about South Africa but those things will never bury the fact that South Africa is still the leading country in the whole world, also number one country in Africa of people infected and affected by HIV/Aids. Education is not that bad in South Africa, but there is a lot of people who do not understand about this virus and syndrome. Even though the country tries it`s best to educate it`s people the number of people who are infected keeps escalating. The sad part is that the most people infected by this dreadful disease is the youth, the same youth that education is made easy to access, same youth that has special programmes made for to be educated them about this disease. Funny thing is when you go around asking people what they think about HIV/Aids their answer is “death”, but no one is willing to take precautions to protect themselves from being infected.
I come from a small to town called Fort Beaufort situated in the Eastern Cape Province. The second most infected Province in South Africa, small towns like the one I come from have been heavily hit by this virus turning to a disease I even lost a best friend at 23 years. What I noticed about my home town is that all the rural areas in Fort Beaufort do not have clinics a person has to go town in order to find aid. Even though our government knows that such areas are problem the government does not go an extra mile in helping these people. Nurses can be sent every three months to test people who are willing to test and at the same time educate them about this killer disease. What I also noticed is that people who are from rural areas in my home town do not even know about the types of sexually transmitted diseases, all they know is that if you have an infection in your private parts you have an STI. The damage or symptoms that the STI has they do not know all they know is the abbreviation STI and that it has to do with having an infection in your genital area, this is not even ignorance it is lack of knowledge. The second part that is hit by the virus are the locations. I was lucky enough to attend my high in one of the locations of Port Elizabeth called KwaZakhele. Port Elizabeth is also a city in the Eastern Cape but it is not small like Fort Beaufort. Unlike the small towns most locations in South Africa have almost everything, there are more schools, more clinics, more shops more of everything but HIV/Aids is still a problem. The problem in such areas is ignorance, alcohol abuse and poverty. People from such areas know more about the disease compared to people from rural areas but most of them think that HIV/Aids is something far from them, something that will never get to them even though people are dying of it in front of them. There is also this myth that they can spot or recognize a person who is infected by it. Even though they know the drugs have been improved and also the drugs improve the lives of the people who take them. Alcohol abuse is also a problem and people in such areas drink a lot and there is this trend called “ukuWina’’ meaning winning a person in a joint or tavern after buying him or her drinks and taking them home. Most of the time after winning a person you get have sex with that person, you have to have sex with the person otherwise what is the point of winning him or her. It does not matter whether you use a condom or not, after all who cares when both of you are drunk.
I mentioned that there are a lot of clinics in the locations and other places that you can go to test for HIV/Aids, but the attitude and personalities of the employees is unpleasant. On the 21st of October 2016 I decided to go and test because my window period had passed. I decide to go to a place called Ubuntu Education fund, Ubuntu Education fund is a special programme for people who live with HIV/Aids and those who are affected by it and mostly it gives them education funds. When I got there I asked the receptionist whether they did HIV/Aids tests, she told me not on that specific day they were closed and she kept quiet so I decide to leave. When I approached the door I decided to go back and I asked “’ are you not going to tell me the days and times so that I can come back”, she replied “you did not ask for times and days, write your name in the register and come back to me and ask again about the days and time or leave”, she said this with an attitude and was shouting. This shocked me because I went there thinking that Ubuntu Education fund was the place to go and test since it specializes in such things. I could not believe an employee of such a programme could be so rude to a person who made a choice to go and get tested voluntarily when it is very hard in this country to get people to test. The clinics are even worse, the people who are there to test que with other people who are there for other reason. A person can sit for 4 to 6 hours if he or she does not wake up early in the morning to go to the clinic. This is just the two parts in the Eastern Cape, the second most infected Province in South Africa. What can I say, a disease like this will never be taken seriously because of people like president Jacob Zuma. When Zuma was in court for raping a woman who was HIV positive, he admitted that he had not used a condom and that after he had sex with the woman he took a shower to reduce the risk of contracting the virus. The question then becomes who is going to lead when future leaders keep on being infected by HIV/Aids.