Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Heroes of our time

This piece of important news was tucked away inside the Daily Nation last week. It goes to report that 15 million Kenyans do not know their HIV-status, despite millions of shillings spent on setting up voluntary counselling and testing centres (VCT) as well as the accompanying media campaigns. How ironic that this apathy may be the unintended outcome of message overload. I share the view that knowing one’s HIV status should be empowering regardless of the result.

On a happier note, I applaud the work done by Liverpool VCT who continue to provide an excellent standard of health care for men who have sex with men, alongside that given to the wider community. MSM sexual health needs are unique and Liverpool have risen superbly to meet these challenges. I’m mulling over the idea for some public acknowledgement from gay Kenyans in recognition of these immeasurable contributions that have been made under difficult conditions. Dear reader, please let me know any suggestions you may have.

I also came across this interesting chronicle on the virus’ journey that continues to threaten the futures of many Kenyans (we are not out of the woods yet); M the Kenyan gay blogger also bravely shares his personal account here.

8 comments:

  1. I think LVCT and other NGO's are heroes. Not only do they have programms dedicated to MSM as a group, they have also managed to ensure that the Ministry of Health's framework on HIV/AIDS includes interventions towards the MSM group. This is fantastic- if implemented well, it means that these services will be available not only in the urban areas but also in the rural areas (where they are so badly needed).

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  2. Hi WildeY,

    Wonderful to hear, so there is movement in the right direction. It's not all doom and gloom. Have a lovely day. x x

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  3. Great post. I agree that HIV is being 'poured' down our troughts, but it still is way more empowering to know your status.

    Just my ten cents worth!

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  4. Hi Billy,

    Thanks. This is a subject very close to my heart, I lost some good friends along the way. We can't afford to let up. x x

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  5. LVCT is a pioneer in MSM health. I would have liked to mention the persons behind it but I will not for you-know-what. These guys are truly the real heroes. They should be acknowledged by the gay community in Kenya.

    The work they do and are doing is heroic. I am deeply thankful.

    They can, Tamaku, be recognized in a book or article or even have them put forward in NTV's Heroes programme. Should they want testimonials or references I am willing to write one.

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  6. Hi Pater Nostra,

    Your input is along the lines of what I've got running through my head. I'm in the process of working out a simple award for these guys. BTW if you need to email me with further ideas or build on what you suggest, please see my email address under 'about me'. Thanks again. x

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  7. Tamaku,

    Its good to know that you are living in "reality" not denial.HIV/AIDS is real and it calls for us to put a spirited fight to stop the disease from being transmitted any further.Keep up keeping on.

    Thank you for highlighting my story.

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  8. Hi M,

    I posted a link to your blog because you a hero to me too, by sharing your story and choosing to live 'positively'. x x

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Hey you, leave a comment but don't just be an asshole about it - try to be decent. That said you are welcome to heap abuse or ridicule if it makes you feel better. However in order to get published it must not be homophobic, racist or sexist. OK?