It’s had been a longtime that we tried to sensitize people to fight against Aids. The message is getting through for some people but others aren’t really convinced how fatal this disease can be. December 1st was the The Worlds Day of Aids. I was invited to attend a movie projection that was organized by The American Embassy at the Ampitheâtre de l’Ecole Normale Superieure, Ampefiloha. The title of the film is ” House on Fire” by Mustapha Khan.
The film talked about how the African- Americans respond to Aids. There were testimonies of victms with Hiv/Aids or their family members that had it. It was so heartbreaking. Here are some of the testimonies:
- A single mother went out with the wrong person and had unsafe sex. She said that she really regretted what she did. It was very difficult to tell her only child that Mama is going to die. What really frightned her is to think about her teen daughter to be left as an orphan in this cruel world.
- Another mother never left her child’s side until the day her daughter died in her arms. The woman said that she was devastated and heartbroken. She felt that a part of her died too.
- A little boy told the sad story that happened to his Mama. He said that he didn’t know what his mother had. It seemed like a very bad flu not like the one he gets. His mother never dared to tell them what was really wrong. The little boy didn’t know the truth til the day his mom died.
- One man hid the truth about his illness to his family and friends during 11 yrs. He was afraid to let anyone to know; because he didn’t want to get rejected and discriminated by society. Finally he decided to join an association with people that has the same case as him. He said that a heavy load came off his shoulders during all these years when he finally accepted and admitted that he had Aids. He was ready to help others like him and sensitize those not victims yet.
- Another man thought that getting Aids will never happen to him. He thought that only homosexual people get it . As a straight person, and father the day he heard that the result was positive. He wanted to commit suicide. He didn’t know how to break the news to his wife and son. The day he told them. He thought they will reject and leave him. Fortunately , they him supported and they became closer as a family than ever.
Watching the people break down in tears while they testified; really was depressing. One Doctor said that :” Aids isn’t a death sentence. You can live with Aids.” She meant that if the person gets tested right away and takes the medecine they should. They have a chance to live a little bit longer and have a normal life.
After the movie , there was a debate about Aids. Most of the people who took part in it; were from different NGO’s associations and doctors. One woman doctor testified that in 1991 , that very ill man came to her for help. He didn’t know what was wrong with him. He did a blood test and was diagonased with Hiv. The man blurted out that he had too many sexual partners in his life. He has dated around 11 people ( males and females) during a year.
Even if we still have a low Aids rate here in Madagascar. Most of the people who does the blood test are those who are already sure that they’re probably aren’t contaminated. But those who don’t do it ; have doubts about their health. And afraid to learn the truth.
We should continue to sensitize people in town and the countryside, so the rate won’t raise…..