Are you also shocked by the statistics given about Zimbabwe? Are we not marching right into a wall, with the HIV/AIDS pandemic blighting a country already grappling with many other problems?
In Zimbabwe the pandemic is reported to be causing the deaths of more than 5000 people each week. A significantly large part of the population is infected; reports say 1 in every 5.Download Link Here
The enormity of the pandemic has among many other effects, fuelled a rapid growth in the number of orphans which has swelled to well over 2 million making ours the country with the highest number of orphans per capita in the world.
Since the 1990s, the HIV/AIDS virus has slashed the average life expectancy from 61 to about 28 years. It is reported that only about 40 000 people are on anti-retroviral drugs out of a possible 180 000.
And more than 2 000 people are reported to be getting infected every month. The health delivery system is almost dysfunctional to an extent that most sick people do not seek treatment. The news we then hear of Zimbabwe’s declining HIV prevalence should therefore be met not only with scepticism but also confusion in view of the country’s volatile political and economic climate.
The statistics so presented could be seriously skewed. What do the true statistics reveal about the Zimbabwean scenario? These statistics provide an insight into what is happening in Zimbabwe. Most people are still taking a very casual approach to the HIV/AIDS issue despite the devastating impact it has had on the country. Multiple sexual relationships are still so much in practise, with most using them as a strategy to temporarily evade the stress brought about by the economic and social hardships they are subjected to.
And most people believe that they are just too smart to be at risk. Most marriages in Zimbabwe still come about as a result of pregnancy, thus clearly indicating that premarital unprotected sex is still so much in practise, for most without prior HIV testing, which is in most cases still much resented.
In any case the issue of HIV testing looses its intended purpose if partners will still engage in multiple unprotected sexual relationships after the testing. Zimbabwe’s escalating HIV/AIDS statistics only but reveal that a lot is happening behind the scenes, which people deny; a lot of cheating in relations.
For Zimbabweans most of the HIV infections are a result of multiple sexual relationships. In cases where people are aware that they are HIV positive, most do not disclose to their partners and instead choose to infect them. It then becomes imperative that every one question themselves about the issue of trust; how much trust should we vest in our partners, if any trust at all, or should we not only but trust God? More so given that the HIV virus is notorious for its capability to ‘hide’ in the blood stream for the longest time without having any of its symptoms showing up.
It appears most Zimbabweans so often a time unnecessarily discard their entire thought systems, thought systems on issues which affect them, about one’s tomorrow, about the importance of health and many other pertinent issues; there is inherent in most, an unwillingness to use their powers of observation and reasoning.
There is slowness to react to changing situations in one’s environment and there is also some form of passivity; an attitude which also raises its ugly head through the lack of mass public action over the turmoil bedevilling the country, politically, socially and economically.
Where then are we heading as a nation? Are we not facing a bleak future? In 5 to 10 years time, are we not likely to have ¾ of the population infected with HIV or wiped away by AIDS? Unless of cause if people are going to take very urgent drastic shifts in behaviour. What we observe should not however be a source of despair and discouragement.
Instead we should exploit these observations to our advantage; use them as a source of encouragement- as a fuel that will drive the engine of change- change in the ways we have been running our lives, change in our focus in life, change in our perception of issues.
Because we are the change agents, we are the ones who can and will make a difference, the ones who can shape our own destiny. We need to have a sense of responsibility through taking ownership of our own destiny. What weapon and shield then can we use for survival as a nation?
Does not the solution lie in us rediscovering ourselves, re-identifying ourselves, getting to know ourselves better, revisiting our choices in line with the changing environment that we are surviving in and are exposed to? And it is all about really revisiting our choices when it comes to the subject of sex; each one asking themselves whether there is anything to lose through revisiting their route to sexual appeasement.
Should not then the solution lie in protected sex for all those engaging in sex, married and unmarried; total abstinence for others and/or masturbation? For Zimbabwe at least, it downs to me that we adopt these options. We have certainly reached this last resort. This now stands as our only last option on our set of cards, our one and only hope for survival.
Masturbation remains the only safe and healthy sexual outlet other than abstinence. Furthermore it is argued that the self-stimuli derived from masturbation are equally self- comforting and sexual arousing.
So there is nothing really to lose, should one resort to this option. If anything they have a better guarantee of a long life. In the light of the frightening HIV/AIDS scenario, we are strongly advocating masturbation for Zimbabweans; masturbation, the only clean way to sexual appeasement.
Whilst the condom has generally been promoted as clean, there is always room for some exchange of dirt between partners. In any case; there are always some people, Zimbabweans too who need no partners in life, those who are happier alone. And yet they may have never heard about masturbation.
So, with the elections coming up in a couple of days to come; the new Government in waiting should in addition to the female and male condom, also avail affordable or free vibrators and promote masturbation for the Zimbabweans who want to remain clean, and yet also get sexual appeasement. Whilst some may argue that it is not in line with our African culture, yet still, we are here looking at the devastating effects that sex has brought unto the African and how we can deal with it.
In as much as we, Africans do not like talking about such issues as sex, yet still the truth remains, we have it behind the scenes, in hiding, and we are contracting the deadly virus. That reminds me how often some of us in open claim not to be indulging, yet we get the evidence through pregnancy.
Should we not revisit and adjust our culture so as to live? The new Zimbabwean Minister had better look into this if she wants us to live longer. For the married who desire to have children, unprotected sex could only be practised immediately upon undergoing HIV testing.
Why rule out this option, when we are responsible for reducing the matrimonial bed to a mere venue for receiving the HIV virus? In as much as these solutions may sound extreme, we find it imperative to highlight that as a nation, Zimbabwe is now at a Choice Point. We have reached that critical juncture where we now have to make that crucial choice; that choice which will determine one’s span of life.
Desired now are solutions which suit our nation well, a peculiar nation whose statistics have reached extreme levels; a nation worst hit by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, a nation ranking last in almost all developmental issues. So it is up to you, the ball is in your court really to make your choice this very day before it is too late.
The writer is based in Belgium and she can be reached at email@example.com