Take a moment to pay respect on World AIDS Day.
Many people all over the world have been affected by this virus in many ways either by losing a relative, friend or family member. There are so many children all over the world who have lost parents and left to face the world on their own.
We have lost many talented straight, bi and gay people to this virus, people who could have shaped and help develop the world in ways we couldn’t possibly imagine if their lives hadn’t been cut short.
But with most of the world moving in the right direction, with more research being done and the stigma of the ‘gay disease’ slipping away slowly and surely, so many countries are moving backwards.
With so many African countries choosing to introduce draconiain anti-gay laws, gay people are victim of the stigma, shame and fear of being blamed for something they have no control over.
Those with HIV often can’t access medical care for fear of being outed, of being the root ’cause’ of the virus. Some scrape and save to try and afford private, supposedly safer, but most can’t afford it.
These laws have led to the closure of some projects that were aiming at carrying out and improving the lives of those with the virus.
One living example is Walter Reed Project in Uganda, closed in April 2014, allegedly for promoting homosexuality.
Many lesbians, bisexuals and trans people are facing the backlash of this hatred of homosexuals by the community through gang and ‘corrective’ rapes.
In South Africa, being LGBTI is not against any law of the land but homophobic crimes are on the increase. Many victims of ‘corrective’ rape have been infected with the HIV virus.
The introduction of these anti-gay laws is limiting and making the efforts towards the fight against HIV and AIDS less effective.
Take a moment to remember the fallen, but also remember the stigma of the ‘gay disease’ is alive and well.