Friday, November 14, 2003
This article illustrates the rampant AIDS epidemic in Africa, and why there is so little containment of the disease there. My little sister was stationed in Uganda when she was in the Peace Corps, teaching health to local communities. Her stories definitely echoed this story, and allow me to expand a bit based on what she imparted to me.
Men there do not like wearing a condom. Having sex and having kids is a huge deal to them. They feel they need to have kids (with or without being married) or else they are not a man. My sister was counseling a young guy who did not want his girlfriend to finish school (she had a year or so left). He wanted her to drop out so that they could get married and he could impregnate her. He did not finish school, had no job or money, she had no money, but he did not care. He could not wait for her to finish school, even though it would mean she would be able to get a job and make some money for them to live on. She insisted on waiting. My sister tried vainly to get this kid to understand why he should wait. He ignored everything she said. All he cared about was having a kid and achieving a higher status. You might think, why doesn't she get rid of him? Good question. Different society, different way of looking at things-they laugh at us Americans for being monogamous. They don't think it's natural. This girl did insist that her boyfriend wear a condom. Which he did. But he told my sister he was going to poke a hole in it so that he could get her pregnant. This is a common practice, apparently.
A sad state of affairs.