To many people fighting HIV/AIDS is seen as a task for the infected and their relatives – whereas others find themselves duty free. Then, whilst enjoying the pleasures of the world, because of non-participation to access and use information, they contract HIV. From thereon, they develop a sense of collective response to HIV/AIDS fight. So, why wait?
They can be a small criminal group that chooses to spread the the disease among the HIV free population. This category will go out and abuse alcohol, brave prostitution practice and marry HIV free people without remorse.
Such activities, then increase the risks -leading to aggravated sex crimes that too worsen the spread of the disease. Crimes like rape and defilement will be common, which increase the risk of catching HIV/AIDS in vulnerable populations as the disabled, children and poor women. Then, is fighting HIV/AIDS a role only for non-government organizations and their partner -government?
But a country like Uganda has in recent years been implicated by international agencies as one of the most corrupt nations in the world. NGOs, on the one hand, have been accused of not bringing services down to the target populations and using desperate situations for selfish gains.
In fact, some of them, as if emphasizing it, go a head to register as companies -only camouflaging as some kind of NGOs. At the end of the day, instead of prevention and enabling healthy living, the HIV/AIDS phenomena worsens.
However, regardless of whoever comes in -to fight the scourge, the noble role will always have big rewards. Whilst for the infected it helps to reduce the infection and to live longer, those free of the infection will be empowered to live responsibly and have a strong mentality towards prevention.
Being at the fore-front of prevention and reducing damage from the infection can effectively keep beneficiaries aware while, at the same time, practice and perfect their trade (of prevention and reducing damage). At the front-line, one can choose to lobby for enabling environment having access to free condoms, free ARVs and free testing services -as for advocacy.
Fighters at organizational level too can make sure that there is vigor and impact. Actually, for effectiveness and efficiency, it had been suggested for long that HIV positive people take up management of key organization positions, exclusively own organizations and projects or form a tough front to champion their cause. Of course they will always have sympathizers mainly from the affected populations. But who has never lost a relative or loved one due to HIV/AIDS?
Even when a new projects open in an area, it can be anticipated before hand, have their input negotiated then, at the end of it, take the front seat of organizations’ planning and implementation to champion their causes. They have to show the kind of hunger for not only as a target group but also as a concerned party -who values life of themselves and others.
And where such projects involve research, it can be another fertile ground to exploit by way of discussing research ethics, participating in the study and benefiting from it. It is from the same research that latest information can be obtained to support themselves and for community empowerment.
In instances where leadership is adamant, it would be pertinent that activists rush to the fore -to capture power tools for self-liberation, or at least support candidates with friendliest manifestos -in as far as HIV/AIDS and the general vision for health is concerned.
Even when they are not at the apex of leadership, it can be their duty to form pressure groups, hold frequent meetings, make consultations, develop partnerships, attend dialogues, monitor and evaluate program implementations, clear controversies and be a role model in all such endeavors.
As noted earlier, organizations led by infected and affected people can be so rewarding. Since they know best what affects them, it will always be respected as bonafide and worthy of all support. And as people who are hurt most in instances of ARVs scarcity and personnel, core life saving actions, whether direct or indirect, can soon follow.
When reports first emerged in Uganda showing ARVs scarcity than needed, the population remained quiet. Such organizations would find it unacceptable and go ahead to demonstrate on streets for actions to improve HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment.