Dennis Neville

Director of Education & Training, Bulembu Swaziland

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What is the best way to tackle the HIV/AIDS crisis?

Living in the country with the highest incidence of HIV in the world - Swaziland - and working with a sector of society so impacted by it - orphans and vulnerable children - I have long been debating the best approach to tackling this crisis. Is it education? Is it economic impact? Is it culture? Recently, someone challenged me on the fact that education is not solving the problem. What do you think is most effective? What can we do to create the most positive impact?

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    Nov 5 2011: I think we should look more at culture in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    Why is it that the HIV prevalence rate is catastrophically high in Anglophone Protestant countries (15-25%), while in Francophone Catholic countries it is an order of magnitude lower and manageable (1-5%), -- despite the fact that the Pope doesn't like condoms. Why is it so high in Southern Africa, and so low in Central and West-Africa Africa?

    I think answers to these questions must hold a very big key to tackling the crisis.
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    Oct 30 2011: Education, Education Education . Its what the grinning Jackanape Tony Blair said
    • Oct 30 2011: I think he meant "Re-Education, Re-Education, Re-Education"... 1984 Orwell style
  • Oct 29 2011: In terms of 'technical' Education you also have to start asking "Whose 'Education' is it anyway ?" - This is well worth a read :
  • Oct 29 2011: Sometimes the education aspect is thwarted because of cultural or social norms that the education has not been tailored to address.

    For example, if people fear doctors in white lab coats because the lab coats are associated with evil witch doctors then the people are going to be reluctant to listen to the advice of doctors.
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    Oct 29 2011: Everything that you mentioned has got it role but in this case EDUCATION & practice of safe sex seems to be of prime importnace.
    • Oct 29 2011: It's Interesting to see how "safer sex" turned into "safe sex" using "Education" in capital Letters.
      But how much "Safer" is it anyway ? Do a Goolge Images or Bing Images or what ever Images search for “std pictures in men” or something like that then think for a moment how microscopic the things are that cause this – just how “safer” are you ?
      Is it not more of a problem that if you ‘think’ you are safe then this false sense of safety puts you and others in danger ? There is loads of STD’s in the West and condoms, stuff and this “Education” thing is all over the place. But you’ve never seen a headline in the Times “STD eradicated in the US thanks to EDUCATION” – It’s because it doesn’t work : There are two ways to do this :
      1) Boy meets Girl, Boy and Girl fall in Love Boy and Girl get married and live happily ever after… “ no AIDS no STD’s and no “EDUCTION”.
      2) The “MTV”/ the Hollywood version : it starts with “Boy goes to nightclub…” and you can see the next bit on every movie and pop video on the TV every night – someone with a lot of money seems very keen to let us know this is the way to behave. The bit after this with or without “EDUCATION” and “ ‘safer’ this & that” that they don’t show in the movies and the videos is the AIDS, STD’s and Abortions.
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        Oct 30 2011: Seems SAFE sounded not safe enough & capital EDUCATION made that even risky.

        I know the safest one is complete abstaination from sex (Phone sex, cyber sex , masturbation if considered as sexual activity may be fine), but even then some of STD like HIV can transmit other way though.

        Myself a bit aware how microscopic some of those parasites are that even a normal microscope fails to bring those in to sight. Thanks for your suggestion of googling to make me better informed, but you might be aware how authentic these image searche results are.

        I am not a fan of mainstream media like Times , as it's known to me that they either craft story depeneding on it's prospect of sales, or get paid from PR agencies to write story and sell. For scientific matters rather prefer scietific literature or studies conducted in proper way.

        Finally what you think is the SAFER sex that can keep one risk free from STD ? Curious to know.....
        • Oct 30 2011: My thinking is this : What could be less harmful and yet more useful than to give poor African Children Dried milk (mixed with water) to drink to increase their health etc - well the effects of something as simple as this was mass death - Google something like : "dried baby milk in Africa disaster".
          Now take something as potent as the introduction of condoms into an African Village. In Africa, fathers and husbands frequently have to travel many miles, sometimes to different countries to say work in mines. When he comes home to be with his wife how happy will he feel to go onto or something like that to find that it states that 10,000 Condoms donated by an American Charity have gone down very well in so-&so village - his village - and all the women are very happy bla bla bla... - How will he feel about going away to the mines again to feed his family ?- Why not stay at home, drink what money he has and get some charity condoms to have some ‘fun’ himself ? - What will be the result ? disaster many times worse than the dried baby milk show.
          The West is full of cities that are full of single mothers living off state handouts paying for kids they had to several fathers after the condoms have broke while they are enjoying 'being free' (MTV stuff) - they are now "free" to live in boarder line poverty the rest of their lives and pee in pain (depending on what else they caught) - There are no MTV videos about poor washed out single mother middle age women 'having fun' trying to feed their feral fatherless kids running drugs etc. If Africa goes down the same “Education” route – it does not have the State handouts that try to replace the father’s role of feeding the kids that the West has - the result will be disaster and starvation.
          There is no such thing as safe sex, sex is very powerful and very potent. That’s why for thousands of years people have used marriage and extended family / village / social support mechanisms to channel this potency
        • Oct 30 2011: …There is no such thing as safe sex, sex is very powerful and very potent. That’s why for thousands of years people have used marriage and extended family / village / social support mechanisms to channel this potency from something that would cause problems to something that keeps civilisation going and gives it a chance to improve. Changing all this, throwing all this away in order to copy and try to accommodate “Man walks into a nightclub…” videos from MTV of a made up lifestyle is just not a good idea by a long shot – “made up ?” – the top stars who made their money from sleazy movies and videos always send their daughters to private schools to be brought up nicely.
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        Oct 31 2011: Ok though there is no safe sex you think following will work

        Men will stay home as RICH west gave POOR africa some dried children milk to drink , instead of children they will drink that then have FREE condom given by AMERICAN Charity to enjoy.

        Thats your solution am I right ?
        So tell me how & why men/women will use condom with out education about it ?
        Why they need to use condom when they are just staying home which makes them hopefully monogamous?
        Even parasites being micro-microscopic you consider condom to be solution? (in your earlier post it sounded different)

        "Sex is potent & powerful, so it was used for marriage & extended family /village" understand that , what was the role of sex before marriage came in to the human civilization just may be few thousand years back ?

        I have no clue what you are talking about MTV stuff, how relevant it is here