Mmegi Online :: Desensitisation: HIV/AIDSí new frontier
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Last Updated
Wednesday 19 September 2018, 14:07 pm.
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Desensitisation: HIV/AIDSí new frontier

It is nearly 20 years since the first AIDS case was diagnosed in Botswana and it appears the fight against the greatest challenge to our existence as a nation, is losing steam.
By Mmegi Editor Tue 02 Dec 2014, 13:01 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Desensitisation: HIV/AIDSí new frontier








Not because of a decline in government and partner efforts, or significantly lesser funding and certainly not because the virus has been defeated. Rather, the loss in momentum is coming from a gradual desensitisation within a population that is weary of HIV/AIDS messages, exhortations and warnings.

This is particularly so among younger generations, who were born and raised in the HIV/AIDS era and even had classes on the epidemic included in their education. In addition, the introduction and expansion of Antiretroviral therapy has meant a reduced mortality rate and the erosion of the disease’s menace among some misguided members of our community.

The number of visibly sick people in late stage AIDS within our own families and communities, which shocked us into action in the 1990s, are lower, emboldening some into risky sexual encounters.

This desensitisation is evident in the behaviour of younger generations across the country, where young boys and girls are engaging in risky sexual behaviour, fuelled by alcohol and drug abuse, materialism and the pursuit of hedonism. Teenage pregnancies continue on the rise, together with HIV incidence amongst teenagers and young adults.Most worrying, however, is research evidence that new HIV cases are being spread by intergenerational sexual relationships and Multiple Concurrent Partner scenarios, better known as ‘cheating’. The former is an egregious betrayal of the aforementioned ‘leaders of tomorrow’ where lecherous

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old men/women are spreading the disease to sexual partners younger than their own children.

Hiding these offences behind euphemisms such as ‘Ma-14’, ‘Ben-10’, ‘sugar daddies’ and others does not change the fact that these immoral activities are mortgaging our future to a disease.

Euphemisms for Multiple Concurrent Partner relationships such as ‘small house’ are equally sickening, being designed to normalise or cause tolerance of offensive behaviour. World AIDS Day, as commemorated yesterday, remains relevant in bringing these issues to light and again taking a stand in defence of our community. As media, we will redouble our efforts against desensitisation and the ‘normalisation’ of behaviours leading to higher HIV infections.

 

Audit Air

Botswana now!

Last week, two incidents took place which when taken with a string of previous occurrences, further highlight the deteriorating safety standards within the flights offered by the national carrier, Air Botswana. Emblazoned ironically with the national brand, it appears more flights within Air Botswana’s struggling fleet are working harder to move from point A to B.It would appear that it is only a matter of time before one of these flights fails to make it to its destination with devastating consequences for human life and the national brand. We implore the new Minister of Transport and Communications, Tshenolo Mabeo, to consider grounding Air Botswana’s passenger flights pending a thorough safety audit.

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