The deafening silence, the louder whispers is all that’s been observed among Adolescent Girls and Young Women living with HIV during this trying period of COVID-19. “My CD4 Count is already low, my body is weak, if this wave sweeps, I’m afraid I might get swept away through it;” Words of lamentation from majority of the Young People living with HIV here in Uganda. They call it a disease for the old but come to think of it, the aged ones become a perfect symbol to represent the COVID-19 virus because, its them whose bodies and minds are giving up voluntarily, its them that they’ve got nothing to lose. But with us the young generation, there is still so much our bodies got to fight for.
Adopting good nutrition habits, may be a good kick start for mindset shifting not forgetting to honor the Principles of Public Health as directed by World Health Organization. The fact remains that our bodies can only sense that much, and therefore we might not be quick to judge human behavior. With the English proverb that goes, he who laughs last laughs best, we all should be in position to treat each other with love, humility and respect as every human being deserves.
This is a period for us to learn, unlearn and re-learn stuff.
Strength and Resilience become the best description for the Young People, Ambassadors at the Front-line to end AIDS by 2030 who regardless of the Stigma and Discrimination incited by Communities have come out to bravely share their stories and encourage their fellow Young People to follow their medication routine to fight the epidemic even amidst all the political and Economic aftermath of this global pandemic, sadly in such times, there is so much misinformation cross-cutting social and multi-media, and;
It wIll take more than just information to restore hope among Young People Living With HIV.
Now more than ever, initiatives like the National AIDS Trust Fund shall be needed to help Young People at the Front-lines. We keep talking about System strengthening, now is the time the government to be held accountable prior its commitments towards strengthening the Health Systems. Or else, everything is collapsing, I’m afraid there will be no next generation to reach out to. It’s either: This is intentional by our government or something should be done to keep the Young People at the Front-lines of the Health System operations.
A Health Advocate