The Durex Global Sex Survey shows that South Africans are careless about AIDS. Fifty eight percent of us have unprotected sex despite living in a country with one of the highest HIV prevalence levels in the world. Health-e spoke to a matriculant living with AIDS about the importance of safer sex.
THANDEKA: Malunga nabantu abazizi gidi ezingama 40 (million) zabantu abaphila nentsholongwane kagawulayo ehlabathini izigidi ezintlanu (5 million) bengabemi base Mzantsi Afrika. U-Aretha Joka owenza ibanga leshumi uthi ukuvela elubala xa uphila nentsholongwane kagawulayo kungenza umehluko ekwaziseni ngogawulayo kwabanye abantu abazichasanisa nesi sifo.
Translation: Globally about 40 million people are infected with HIV and over 5 million people are living with HIV in South Africa. Aretha Joka a matric pupil says disclosing your HIV status can make a difference in bringing awareness to other people who are living in denial.
ARETHA: Kwaku Tuesday after i-Women’s Day Monday then on Tuesday morning ndacela uNombeko yi friend endihamba nayo isupport group ndacela nomamam ndahamba ndayoku disclosure eskolweni. Abanye ke abantu bayothuka ke lonto. Phofu ke bothuke bonke mhlawumbi nokuba bebeyiva ukuba ndi positive mhlawumbi bebe ngayi believe but ke bayive kum ukuba ndinjalo. Abanye ke bothuke njalo belila but bandiphethe right akukho nto itshintshileyo.
Translation: It was the Tuesday morning after the Women’s Day public holiday on Monday that I asked Nombeko my friend who attends my HIV/AIDS support group to accompany me and my mom to go and disclose at school. My colleagues at school were shocked when they received the news. Even though they might have heard it before from gossip but this time they heard it from the horse’s mouth but they didn’t believe it. Shocked as they were they cried but they still treat me well. There is no change in our relationship.
THANDEKA: U-Aretha uthi abantu kufuneka bayeke ukuba ngabagwebi babo abaphila nogawulayo. Uthi oyena ilesi ileli kwabo abangekayi ukuyokuzijonga ukuba abanayo na le ntsholongwane kusini na.
Translation: Aretha says there’s no need for people to be judgemental of those who are living with HIV or AIDS. She says a challenge lies with those who have never tested for HIV to go and test so that they know their own status too.
ARETHA: Inzima indaba yentsholongwane kagawulayo kuba ungahlala uhlale ungazazi and ekuhlaleni kwakho ungazazi ujudge abanye abantu ngenxa yokuba bezazi ngenxa wena nawe ungazazi. Umna ndithi umntu makaqale aziqonde indawo akuyo before ajudge omnye umntu and ndifunaka ukuthi kubantu aba judge(a) abantu mabayeke because ke abanye abantu baphila kabuhlungu emakhayeni abo baphinde bazokuphila kabuhlungu eskolweni apho khona bekumele mhlawumbi if bagxothiwe emakhayeni abo bafumane isupport eskolweni. Ndithi umna abantu mabatshintshe indlela abacinga ngayo nendlela abenza ngayo izinto kwabanye abantu.
Translation: It’s tough to deal with HIV because you can stay for a long time without knowing your status. It’s easy for people to judge others because those people know their HIV status and you the judge you don’t know your own status. I want to say people should stop judging others because other people are living in fear in their homes and still have to face prejudice at school instead of getting solace if they have problems at home. I say people should change their way of thinking and the way they do things to other people.
THANDEKA: Ukungahoyi nokwenza nje ngokungakhathali yenye yezinto ezibeka abanye abantu emngciphekweni wosuleleko kugawulayo nangona ikhona indlela yokunqanda nokukhusela oku zikhona ukunqanda usuleleko kulentsholongwane kagawulayo. Ingaba ke u-Aretha ukubona njani oku ekwazi nokuba ugawulayo ngumceli mngeni?
Translation: Careless behaviour is what puts people in danger of contracting HIV, but by practising safer sex ‘ like always using a condom – can prevent infection. Living a healthy lifestyle by not drinking or smoking also helps your body resist infections. How does Aretha view that fact and knowing that HIV is a challenge?
ARETHA: Ewe, it is a challenge iyi challenge nje, ivula nengqondo at the same time because kunezinto mhlawumbi ubukade uzenza kufuneka ungazenzi mhlawumbi ukulala without i-condom which is yinto ekumela kakade singayenzi lonto but xa u-positive you know whenever you have sex you have to use i-condom. Ukusela, ukutshaya zonke ezo zinto uyazazi xa u-positive kunezinto omele uzenze nongazenzi. Ndifuna ukuthi kwabanye abantu masiqiqeni ekucingeni nokwenza ngoba izigqibo esizenza ngoku zezi ziza kuhlala kwiminyaka ezayo and eziza kuphinda zibuye mhlawumbi engqondweni uthi into ethile ukuba ndandingayenzanga whereas alikho ixesha lokuba mawuphinde ubuyele umva. So masenzeni ii-choices ezi right ebomini ukuze singazoku regret(a) izinto esizenzileyo.
Translation: Yes, it is a challenge. A challenge that opens one’s mind at the same time because there are those things that you would normally do that you have to let go of. For an example having sex without a condom which is something we shouldn’t do in any case but if you’re HIV positive you know whenever you have sex you have to use a condom. Drinking, smoking and all other risk behaviours you know when you’re positive they are no go areas. I want to say we should be critical of our actions because things that we do today will definitely come back at a later stage. There are those things that you would wish you shouldn’t have done but it will be too late and you would not be able to reverse those. Let us make wise choices in our lifetime so that we would not regret for our actions.
THANDEKA: ULindi Ndzamela-Nqonji a teacher in Khayelitsha uthi oyena mceli mngeni kugawulayo nentsholongwane yakhe ngowokuba abantu bazazi ukuba bamephi ekuphileni nalentsholongwane kuqala. Uthi lentsholongwane nogawulayo ngumceli mngeni ofuna ukuliwa kubanjiswene.
Translation: Lindi Ndzamela-Nqonji a teacher in Khayelitsha says the greatest challenge in HIV and AIDS is for people to know their HIV status first. She says HIV and AIDS remains a big challenge that needs to be fought collectively.
LINDI: Ibalulekile into yokuba umntu makahambe ayo kuzi test(a) because kaloku as long ungakhange uhambe uyokuzi test(a)awukwazi ukuthi wena awukho positive uyaqonda so it’s useless into yokuba uhlebe ngomnye umntu kanti nawe ngomso izakuba yi turn yakho because khange uyokuyenza i-test waba sure(i) ukuba u-positive okanye u-negative. Ndingaske ndithi emphakathini abantu abane HIV neAIDS bayafana nje nathi abanye baphila ubomi obude ngaphezu kunobu thina sizakubuphila xa singenayo. Si supposed sibathathe nje ngoobrother noosister bethu siba treat(e) ngoluhlobo nawe urhalela ukuba unga treat(wa) ngalo not into yokuba sibenze amakheswa emphakathini.
Translation: It is important that a person should go and test because as long you have not tested you can never tell whether you are HIV positive or negative. It’s useless to gossip about other people when tomorrow you’ll be next because you haven’t tested to be sure of your own status. What I want to say to our community is that people living with HIV/AIDS can live longer than people who are not infected. We are supposed to treat them like our brothers and sisters and treat them they way we would like to be treated as well. We are not supposed to make them feel unwanted.
E-mail: Thandeka Teyise