An Increase of HIV incidence

23 06 2014

The doctor was at her usual post at the HIV clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. She came into the waiting room and saw a number of young innocent looking girls in the age group of 15 to 18 year ages who had all tested positive for HIV. She needed to know what the cause was for this sudden increase in the incidence of this age group.

The answers were varied.

Some believed that the threat of death was no longer an issue.                        gingerbread-fadeAnti retroviral therapy could save lives and they could live a ‘normal life’. In fact they believed that HIV was no worse than a common cold or maybe diabetes.

Some told the doctor that they had been raped & that was how they had contracted the virus.

Then the ugly head of poverty was once again brought to the fore. A positive HIV test brought the government grant and to young girl who has nothing any money is better than no money. There were a few girls who had relationships with older men for financial gain or worldly goods. In most cases the girls had no ‘power’ to insist on condom use.

The story that made the most impression on the doctor & brought her close to tears was the young girl who related how she was infected. Her father had paid a HIV positive man to impregnate her and to pass on the virus. He wanted her HIV positive so that he could have her government grant.

A recent report in the Mail & Guardian stated that the teen and early twenty incidence was not stabilized but showed an increase.


We need to go back to the schools and provide intense  education.

We need to rethink the government grants & other possibilities.

We need to provide counselling to sexually active couples.

We need to lessen the desperation of the poverty stricken people in our communities so that they can be employable & provide for their families legally.

We need to be more creative & remember that these young people are the future of leaders of the next generation

Where there is a will, there is a way!



The Energy of Children

24 03 2013

The little people whose lives have been affected with an adult condition never cease to amaze us by the energy with which they tackle the many challenges that are put on their ‘path of life’.

In Africa a growing trend is the child-headed households.

Adolescents, and some as young as twelve, take over the care of their siblings when they have lost their parents to Aids related conditions.

In most cases these children do not want to go to orphanages or foster care because they do not want to be separated as families. These children have sacrificed their childhood to rear their siblings and we can just admire the energy with which they take over this heavy adult task.

The community, teachers, religious leaders and clinics must inform the authorities when these child-headed families are discovered. They need to be visited regularly by social workers, counsellors and nurses to assess their physical and psychosocial needs.

Every effort must be made to prevent the adolescents from dropping out of school. Without education the children face a dismal future and are open to abuse by unscrupulous adults.

There are many charities and churches that put a great deal of support and resources into these child-headed households, but much more help is needed. Unfortunately many still slip through the cracks and go undetected.

SOS Children’s Villages is just one of the many charities, religious groups and NGOs that is heavily involved in this project.

If we are unable to provide material aid we can at least remember these children in our prayers. They need our physical, emotional and spiritual support to provide them with a brighter future.

They need our energy!

©Teresa Denton

Introducing the Immunodeficiency Virus

1 05 2012

What is all this fuss about?  There are plenty of other viruses all around us.

What makes this virus different?

There are plenty of other viruses that cause illnesses.

There are plenty of viruses that even could lead to death.

What makes this virus so special?

We have plenty of treatment to cure or suppress the other viruses.

Why can’t we do the same with this virus?

This HIV is very different from other viruses.

Illnesses and symptoms related to this virus were only described in the early 1980’s.

The virus itself, was first identified by a French scientist a couple of years later.

So this virus is relatively new in comparison to the other viruses.

This virus has no respect for anyone. It will go to all humans irrespective of colour, creed, religion, sexual orientation or status. It attacks the humans from within the womb, newborn infants, children, teens and adults of all ages.

This virus has invaded every aspect of human life.

Even in the privacy of your bedroom, your work, your schools, your relationships with your friends, family and colleagues this virus makes an impact.

The Immunodeficiency Virus has travelled to all the continents with the human hosts. The most heavily invaded continent is Sub Saharan Africa where a high percentage of people are infected. Where humans are in contact with other humans the HIV can be found.

Although a huge amount of research and clinical trails is ongoing, we still have NO CURE!

Our antiretroviral medication attempts to suppress the virus, by preventing it from entering the human blood cell, minimizing replication and preventing the virus from maturing.

There is hope!

A cure could be found any day now …….

With knowledge we can spread a positive attitude and eliminate stigma.


© Teresa Denton

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