On this one Sunday morning in March, while every body in my house at Kacyiru prepared to leave for church, my friends, John and Emil who had visited me the previous day started a discussion about HIV/Aids.
Emil asked me, “with all this talk about Aids, does it mean I should not catch fun (sex) again?” but John quickly replied him that it does not mean he should not catch fun but he should know how to practice safer sex.
John is well informed about HIV/Aids and reproductive health, he has benefited from HIV training but Emil has very little knowledge about HIV/Aids and his question made me laugh.
I found out that though Emil had for a long time contemplated on asking about HIV/Aids, he always felt shy and thought that people would turn him down and as such kept silent.
Thank God John and I helped him come out of the shell of ignorance, Emil was very happy to learn that HIV/Aids is not something to be discussed in secrete but should be an open discussion for everybody especially the young in the community.
Though I had earlier laughed at Emil’s ignorance, but like Emil, a lot of our youths are ignorant. The seriousness of the question (ignorance) and how it fuels the spread of infection and stigma and discrimination alarmed me the more.
I think it is high time we approached people with one on one discussion on HIV/Aids especially those close to us.
Thank God my friend asked, but I don’t have to wait till they ask, I can initiate HIV discussion with them.
We missed church that Sunday but we helped Emil, get informed.