Canada through the eyes of an immigrant

Thursday, March 26, 2009

AIDS in Africa:Caused by Britain and Colonisers?

In Malawi 14% of people are HIV positive. The rate of those infected by HIV/AIDS is very high in African countries colonized by Britain. According to the 2008 report from UNAIDS, Two-thirds of all people in the world with HIV/AIDS live in Sub-Saharan Africa. This translates into 67% of the global total of 32.9 million with HIV live in this region, and three quarters (75%) of all AIDS deaths in 2007 occurred there.
Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Swaziland,Namibia, Malawi and South Africa; the countries that compose Sub-Saharan Africa were all colonized by the British. The rates are alarming in the region, like in Swaziland where 25% of the population is HIV positive. In the neighboring French colonized island of Madagascar, only 1% of the population is infected. In Mozambique, DRC or in the Congo Republic, the infection rate is not as high.
Some have argued that high numbers are due to the shared beliefs on sex and promiscuity. This is not accurate because Sub-Saharan Africa is known for its diverse cultures, religions and tribes. The Republic of South Africa has more than 11 different tribes like the Xhosa, Zulu, Venda among others. Zimbabwe is home to the Shona and Ndebele. Malawi and Mozambique has the Yao, Chewa and Sena tribes. These are all very different and diverse tribes in terms of beliefs, customs and taboos. They were all forced to unite under the strong arm of the British Coloniser who taught them about his own way of seeing things. It is not surprising that the colonised adopted the way his coloniser behaved by objectifying women and using them as sex toys. The results are being reaped every day at countless funerals of AIDS victims.
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By Postera Tenthani (Mmalawi)
Malawi Current News


Anonymous said...

The H in HIV stands most often for Hypocrisy. Many people profess one way of living but act in another way. If this were not the case explain why HIV rates are higher amongst school teachers and why some preachers encourage their wives to die quietly rather than expose their own HIV status and the fact that they infected them in the first place? One man, one woman = no HIV. Simple. Do otherwise in the West or Africa and you pay a price, either in the here and now or later before God.

Anonymous said...

What all these countries have in common as a result of British colonialism is the migrant labout system. The whole point of the colonial project was to create industries and wealth for the UK and they did this by imposing a "hut tax" meaning that all men had to travel and seek employment just so they could legally live on their own land. So we had Theba and all other types of labour projects that kept families separated for years at a time allowing strong African traditions to break down. The men who were now urbanised brought back westernised values and unfortunately, diseases as well.Many studies show the correlation between hours spent away from home on the job and rates of HIV and the results are clear. It is also well understood that one of the highest risk groups is to be young, black, female and MARRIED. So yes there is a responsibility to be borne by the colonisers but thats a case of understanding how we got here. Whats important is to focus on who has the most power and responsibility to make a difference and it is young black men. That is where the answer is and unless we speak directly to them, we'll theorise and discuss til the cows come home.

Simon said...

Hi, you make an interesting point and it has been raised elsewhere. Most of the highest prevalence countries are former British colonies. But there are former British colonies in other continents that don't have high prevalence. Maybe there are other underlying factors that would explain the correlation between high prevalence and being a former British colony?

For example, in Senegal, they inherited things from France, such as official recognition for commercial sex workers, who are protected by the law and who get free medical checkups every year.

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Sukhi said...

HIV/AIDS...truth be told....In Europe sex or unprotected sex is normal...and yet they never suffer from HIV (you know what i mean), there's a low count....yet in 3rd world countries it reamins ridiculously high....How many people think this was a man made disease?? What i mean is, 3rd world countries are that because they don't have enough resources to main or sustain life...if AIDS never existed how bad would the population be considering lack of education and family planning?? Just a suggestion however arguably a very realistic one too....

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