|Warning Signs. Source: Wikipedia. What do you carry in your hood?|
SUMMARY: In this write up, we explore private and public interest issues; individual responsibility; impact of HIV on personal conduct; and access to fair treatment in case of conflict with criminal laws.
We hear the terms neighborhood or motherhood in our day to day conversation. They resonate with continuity in form of relation, reliance, subsistence and care. They are part of our relations with each other. They are part of our livelihood. HIV has impacted on the way humans relate with each other. This is manifested in many ways. HIV has generated social action towards the affected and infected. It has been in form of compassionate regard, psychosocial support, care, treatment, connections. Tensions have arisen, no doubt, as well as disregard of the plight of people living with HIV. It should not escape anybody that throughout human history diseases have been looked upon as curses or the result of a punishment for sins by a Divine being. We have come a long way in addressing epidemics and the way we treat those we suspect of having come close to what we fear tantamounts into the wrath of the Divine. HIV impacts a variety of levels in society. Different generations are grasping this fact in different ways and phases. This mix of things is the HIVhood we need to embrace. It is part of our mobility and livelihoods now.
People are social animals. People connect with each other. To connect is to acknowledge one another. It is a rite of passage. Connections are cumulative, resulting from repetitive actions such as listening to others. To be connected is to bond with say, an empathetic person. It is one way we all get to know each other's interests and dislikes. Connections tame and make us accountable. Connections enable us to understand each other or realize we can agree to disagree. Connections are an opportunity to share points of view, opinions, differences and similarities. In some cases relations are consummated sexually. Connections should encourage negotiated safer sex as far as HIV is concerned. This builds in us the ability to value one another and be mindful of the consequences consensual sex. This sets the pace for safe relations. Safety is an important point as far HIV is concerned. Safety is shared responsibility and this calls for: voluntary HIV status check-ups; knowing one's HIV status; partner notification and disclosure; adherence to treatment regimen; and protection during sexual intercourse. These are both private and public interests. A person with HIV, should know that his/her sense of self are now oriented around HIV. Confidence, curiosity and one's place in the world are now impacted upon by HIV. The person should gauge how much events, images, words, laws, social norms, and experiences present opportunities or barriers to maintaining a healthy sense of self. There are connections between the self-concept, health and well-being. These connections should be part of an awareness of expectations, responsibilities and contributions.