Wednesday, January 9, 2008, 11:44 AM
Posted by Nicole Zawada
HIV/AIDS is a worldwide problem that we are dealing with today. It is especially a problem in Africa and specifically in the country of South Africa. In South Africa, there is said to be 1,500 new infections a day! To get a better idea of how this epidemic is affecting South Africa, our class made a few trips today specifically to see how this epidemic is affecting this country.
Our first stop was an HIV/AIDS hospice. The hospice is a non-profit organization that offers care to those with AIDS when they are unable to care for themselves. The man who runs it was in fact the mayor of Cape Town at one point in time, as well as several other political positions. Although it was time for him to retire, he realized that there was a great need that he could fulfill by providing aid at this hospice. This trip really opened up the class’s eyes. As the man explained, people come to this hospice to die with dignity. It’s a place to go where people will sit by your bedside and help you eat the food that is made for you.
Our second stop was a children’s home called the Christine Revell Children’s home. Here we were able to play with the young children, all at the age of 5 or below, who were without parents. Although there were not many children at the time who were left behind by parents who have died from AIDS, this is a great possibility. Another real fact about HIV/AIDS is that children are left behind everyday. Many times they become street children and are lucky if they are placed into a children’s home like the one we visited today.
To work towards an end with HIV/AIDS, education is the key. This is the phrase that our class seemed to hear everywhere we went. Many people, sometimes those in governmental positions even, don’t believe in AIDS or that HIV causes AIDS. Therefore some of the people don’t seem to believe in the epidemic either. People need to learn more about what HIV/AIDS is and how to prevent coming into contact with it. Our class really learned a lot today about this issue that is having such a heavy impact on the world today.