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Wednesday 22 February 2006
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Black pot and blacker kettle

Dear Diary

In a frightening case of the pot calling the kettle black, South Africa's Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and former apartheid-era president FW de Klerk were this week at each other's throats over who could have done better in addressing the country's escalating HIV/AIDS pandemic.

De Klerk remarked that the ruling African National Congress had lost years in the battle against HIV/AIDS by shelving a "good" action plan drawn up by his government.

Tshabalala-Msimang countered that the former oppressor's statement was "disturbing" and accused the apartheid-era government of not properly responding to HIV/AIDS during its tenure.

I never thought the day would come when I'd actually agreed with anything Tshabalala-Msimang had to say about HIV and AIDS, and I never will.

According to De Klerk, his health minister, Rina Venter, drew up a detailed action plan on the challenges of the pandemic before the first democratic election in 1994.

If that's the case, why then were anti-AIDS drugs not made available to what I imagine at that stage would have been a more manageable number of HIV-positive people? What was De Klerk's government waiting for?

It seems this procrastination has been inherited by the ruling government, since they too claimed to have a plan, but still have not properly implemented it - to the detriment of the millions of people now living with HIV and AIDS in South Africa.

Whatever the case, both past and present struggles for power, combined with a complete disrespect for life, only prove that the old and new governments are actually more alike than they'd like to admit.

"That action plan, as [with] so many other good action plans and policy documents, was left on the shelf to gather dust, because ... anything which came from the apartheid era was somehow or other contaminated," said De Klerk.

I agree with De Klerk. Everything from that era was definitely contaminated.

In a country where blacks and whites could not even share something as huge as God's ocean, its obvious who would benefit from the dusty AIDS plan were the old government still in power today. A "good" action plan indeed.

In my opinion, the only good thing that the past regime ever came up with, was its decision to hand back the country to its rightful owners.

But just because there are new landlords in control does not mean that living arrangements have changed much.

Forever Positive

Hayden Horner

Previous Entry :: All Diary Entries :: Next Entry
Diary Entries
HIV/AIDS Coping Mechanisms: "What would a mayfly do?"
Beyond the Borders of HIV/AIDS Treatment Strategies
HIV/AIDS Feminisation: A new wine in an old bottle
Antiretrovirals - The Wind Beneath My Wings
The Mis-education of HIV/AIDS Clinicians
HIV Prevention 101: Ignoring the Church's views on condoms
Stigma and HIV/AIDS: lethal bedfellows
In remembrance of our women and children
Maids, madams and the "terrible thing"
Internet love and inter-related HIV-prejudice
Previously eyes-wide-shut on HIV and religion
Love, lies and disclosure
Black pot and blacker kettle
Things better left unsaid on the bus
Food for thought while waiting to die
Test results not all good
Diary speaks back
The truth about disclosure

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