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01 December 2007 @ 05:04 pm
World Aids Day  
I contemplate the day by remembering people I know who have died of AIDS and those who are carrying the wieght of having HIV in native communities.

I live and work in a native community and I feel there is a lot to be said for those who suffer from HIV that goes unsaid.

I see a large number of young people who still have unprotected sex in spite of all the education which is taking place in Indian country. Many of these kids, ironically, are testing positive for STDs but none so far have tested positive for HIV. There seems to be a recognizable number of adults over the age of 30 that are also doing this, luckily there is an immediate cure for Chlamydia and Gonnorhea which are still the leading STDs in rural Canadian reserves.
What I find very curious is that none of the schools in the area have condom machines in the washrooms? There is more religion in schools then common sense.

The shame which is carried by those who have contracted HIV in this community is unbelievable. Native people profess to be very accepting people but they are not very accepting of individuals who have contracted HIV, infact there are some really cruel people in these rural reserves. I have witnessed the withdrawl of HIV patients into isolation because they are singled out in public places and ostracized like they were boogymen.

The social construct of living on reserve almost dictates poor health:ie; poverty, unemployment, poor education,single parent families, addiction. The addition of such a disease such as HIV into this mixture means disaster. Fortunately, we have not seen this happen yet but all the factors are there and we are too busy with our heads in the sand to really see the train coming.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative