The theories and theological understanding of HIV/AIDS in South Sudan (Part 1)

Posted: December 7, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Columnists, Commentary, David Matiop Gai, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By David Matiop Gai, Juba, South Sudan

HIV-AIDS prevention: Thank to PrEP and PEP, you can protect yourself and love ones from HIV/AIDS

Thank to PrEP and PEP, you can protect yourself and love ones from HIV/AIDS

December 7, 2017 (SSB) — In commemoration of HIV/AIDS World Day on the 5th of December 2017 in South Sudan, HIV/AIDS is a great challenge to life and had the highest threat to the entire population in South Sudan, Africa and in the world at large. Why is HIV/AIDS everybody business? Is it a question which needs integrative knowledge that will address the prevention of epidemic among the youths of South Sudan? Let‘s understand it here.

The HIV/AIDS is not yet much known to civil population especially at the grass root levels because if you know something, you may know it to the best of your knowledge and more details about the disease may be some people know little about it.

What is HIV/AIDS?

HIV stands for “Human Immune Virus”, and AIDS stands for “Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome”. The disease affected people through sexual contacts, sharing of injection with the infected person, sharing lazar blade for cutting nails or sharping hair, and blood transmission.

In addition, the ABC advises given to people about preventing disease are; Abstains yourself, be faithful to your partner and use the condom.  I think these advise are not enough as sometimes this prevention encourage spreading of the disease. If the Partner is not faithful, or if somebody may not abstains himself/herself, and in some cultures they could not use condom, then its explains to me that the disease is affecting more people especially in South Sudan where civil population is under high threat of brink of poverty.

Young people especially young girls are being sexually exploited by rich business men, government officials, NGOs officials, and UN personals.  Some poor young women and girls give themselves for sexual contacts in order to get piece of cake for daily survival. The other majority of school girls in South Sudan abandon cultural rules protect sexual contacts and adapted foreign cultures of boyfriends or girlfriends where issues of sexual intercourse permitted sex freedoms which were prevented by South Sudanese cultures before until you get married now got broken and it becomes a main door to door of getting HIV/AIDS.

Young girls and young women are eating their energies; they are involved in exercise of high prostitutions which has no legal ground in South Sudan. They are eating their tails like mudfish.  Men can go to any hotel with somebody wife or daughter without question or requirements of marriage certificates because people are in town’s dispensation and government of South Sudan is busy with issues of war, and has no ground to protect her citizens on social effects. So majority of the people in work places know nothing about HIV/AIDS infection as sexual contacts is at work with use of condoms.

Another factor is; women majority population in South Sudan are engines of spreading the disease. Young girls and young women fighting over one man and the population of women in this country is doubling men three times. This causes even very young girls are trying to get their men and homes. Others don’t concentrate on education, they cut-off future with shortcut marriages and breakdown of those marriages.  Marriages of one day, seven days, or one month with misuses of women bodies are entering our societies. These things happen because of human rights misconception and misinterpretation. You have right to marry or right to be married and not to be misuse.

Why is HIV/AIDS everybody business?

There are several ways and reasons why HIV/AIDS is everybody business and not just only infected or affected people. Here are some points.

  1. HIV/AIDS affects all aspects of humanity. Majority of people in many areas of African continent ignore the epidemic disease and its negative impacts into the communities. The epidemic of HIV/AIDS is everybody’s business because its affect all aspects of humanity. Its affect people socially, economically, emotionally, mentally, culturally, spiritually, and psychologically. Therefore, everybody needs to take his/her part as a serious business whether you are infected, affected or unaffected; you work it out to reduce the fastest spreading of the disease.
  2. Everybody must be involves. In African ways of understanding HIV/AIDS, some think that the disease is just for disobedience and it is refers to as a disease of sexual contacts and prostitutes whose their behaviours contradicting cultural rules in societies, but this misconception of African people toward HIV/AIDS is totally wrong. Everybody must be involves to participate in fighting the epidemic disease. People should work hard to fight against HIV/AIDS and all must be involve including youths, women groups, civil society, old people, children, government officials, church leaders, community leaders, and organizations.
  3. HIV/AIDS requires multi-sectoral approaches. To deal with HIV/AIDS is not an easy thing. People must fight this disease honestly because the epidemic claims millions of lives every year and beyond social issues and affected all aspects of humanity. You know HIV/AIDS works through social injustice, poverty lines, gender inequality, human rights violation, child abuse, racism, HIV/AIDS stigma, classism, international injustice violence, ethnic, and sex base discrimination. HIV/AIDS affect our lives. Its affect us culturally, economically, spiritually, politically, and psychologically. HIV/AIDS needs multi-sectoral approaches because it is everybody business. This implied that the approach maximum contribution against the disease from individuals, institutions, community, religious groups, and other departments to demonstrate their concern.
  4. It requires paradigmshift in social, cultural and political dynamics. HIV/AIDS reveals its power in structures of social institutions- that is how institutions are constructed and how they are affected the well-being of individuals and community as a whole. It’s also affect the psychology of individuals and of the community as people begin afraid and fears cover human future. At the political levels, its develops call for national and international relations affected by individuals and community as a whole. Therefore, it’s requires paradigmshift as HIV/AIDS to underlines urgent needs for transformations and justice in the society and the lives of individuals.
  5. A theology that address affected people by HV/AIDS. There is a need for a theology that may address all aspects of affected people by HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS is absolutely true and that everybody can get it but most of HIV/AIDS positive are marginalized groups, who are also subject to the condition caused by HIV/AIDS. These people with HIV/AIDs are more vulnerable, and likely to be lacking care of when infected and sick. This also causes weakness and hopeless to people living with HIV/AIDS since it is causing economic s and individual productivity is reduce, and expenditures goes up. This raises spiritual questions: Does God cares for us? Is God hearing ours/my prayers? And many questions come up as people get pain and suffering. HIV/AIDS is a disease like other diseases but it has its own ways of affecting people not like malaria. It is like other diseases in the Bible, (Gen 50:2, 2 Chron 16:12). Therefore, there is a need of theology and theories that address people with compassion, love, encouragement, good will, and true messages on healing power of Jesus Christ to give hope in this terrible situation and situation to come. Thanks you all readers, you will get more in part two.

The author is a co-founder of South Sudan Mental Health care Organization, (SSMHCO). He holds Bachelor degree in Social Work and Social Administration from SSCUST, Bachelor of Theology from CLT, Bungoma, Kenya/Kalispell, USA, and a fellow researcher. He can be reach at david.matiopgai@gmail.com

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

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