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What Couldn't Be Done ;HIV/AIDS awareness

Despite the fact that there is a lot of information on HIV and AIDS, there appears to be a great deal of stigma, discrimination and ignorance associated with people living with AIDS. You'd think people would know enough about the disease to act and speak appropriately. Problem is you can't tell if they're doing it on purpose or out of ignorance.

Most of the information I've learned about HIV and AIDS has come from secondhand sources, such as school textbooks, the news, organizations like Nation Aids Commission. Back in the day, we never had the opportunity to speak or hear from with those who have it firsthand. Due to past extreme cases of stigma and discrimination, very few people were able to open up.

In the past , a number of people committed suicide after being diagnosed, or purposefully stopped taking medication until they died. Despite campaigns and awareness that being HIV positive or having AIDS is not the end of the world, there weren't many people to show that being HIV positive wasn't indeed the end of the world.

Of course, the media and other Non-governmental organizations have done their part when it comes to HIIV/AIDS awareness by choosing more relatable approaches. For instance, Zathu,under Girl Effect, introduced us to a character Chikondi who was born HIV Positive, even though it was just a character, she did a great deal of highlighting some issues which young people living with HIV in Malawi.

But we can’t deny the fact that It is always beneficial to hear information and firsthand accounts from those who are directly affected. Seeing real life people on social media and everywhere else being positive and living their best lives even when they are HIV positive is bringing a lot more awareness than the campaigns have done. This visibility is effective in changing people’s perception about the pandemic and those affected. We see real life testimonies of how taking medication helps, how positive those affected are and how healthy they are. Our perception is changing because of people like that.

This visibility of people living with HIV or HIV and AIDS is also helping to enlighten and educate young people who might not have been there when there were a lot of HIV/AIDS campaigns about the pandemic ; which mostly were graphic pictures whose intent appeared just to scare people rather than educate them).

We can therefore conclude that we are indeed making strides while also acknowledging the fact that there is a lot that has to be done.

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