June 2011 marked 30 years after the discovery of an unusual kind of pneumonia, a rare cancer called Kaposi’s sarcoma.
Further studies suggested that Kaposi’s sarcoma, now known as HIV, had the potential to wipe away the entire world population in less than half a century if a cure could not be found.
Most countries saw this new virus as a remote disease and it was treated clumsily. But HIV steadfastly crept in far and wide like a veld fire. Its effects on a society are devastating and not easy to ignore.
Chilling campaign messages epitomised the initial response from governments as it became a story of death and sorrow.
Over that 30 years, more than 25 million people have lost their lives due to Aids-related illnesses and 34 million are infected. Sub-Saharan Africa has become the pandemic epicentre with over 14,8 million children orphaned by the disease.
When we thought the pandemic has reached alarming levels which require more resources to deal with the effects, opinion leaders in the HIV and Aids industry had other ideas.
Based on some research, they argue that the battle against HIV is being won. According to Michael Sidibe, executive director of UNAids, “a major breakthrough has been made during the last five years of increasing the coverage of treatment”.
This assertion seems to run contrary to the glaring reality on the ground. So far not everyone who needs treatment is getting it.
Only 6,6 million of the 16 million people in Third World countries who need the drugs are getting them. And the pills are not a cure. Stop taking them and the virus bounces back.
Further compounding the HIV conspiracy is a study that argues that in 33 of the worst-affected countries the rate of new infections has gone down by 25% or more from its peak.
Based on these statements alone, HIV funding has changed course. Eastern Europe and Central Asia have become the new HIV funding docking stations, leaving over 25 millions of people living with HIV yearning for help in Africa. Southern Africa still remains the epicentre of the virus.
The justification for this change in geo-funding doesn’t carry much weight in my view. Southern African still remains home to over 70% (25 million) of people living with HIV and is the worst affected while Eastern Europe and Central Asia combined have an estimated prevalence of the 1,4 million, that is 17% of South Africa’s HIV prevalence alone.
This raises the question: Is Aids in Africa really under control or it is one of those controlled agendas?
One of the key reasons behind the attraction to fund Eastern Europe and Central Asia HIV programmes, despite the increase in prevalence, is that the epidemic is believed to be thriving among men having sex with other men.
It is know fact that the gay community has a huge controlling stake in the HIV industry with connections to wealthy funders worldwide.
UNAids is a creation of their activism and because of their connection to power and wealth, UNAids has grown much bigger and faster than the World Health Organisation, the principal institution on global public health issues.
Their activism is attributed to the creation of new medicine and the subsequent decrease in prices.
Given this financial and political power it is not a mere coincidence that the shift targets and prioritises their own members in Eastern Europe and Central Asia at the expense of sub-Saharan Africans especially when most African governments refuse to budge on gay rights.
Early 2011, in Uganda the international community threatened to cut aid towards HIV after the government tabled an anti-homosexuality bill.
Even today the country is still struggling to fund its HIV programmes. In Cameroon, the president refused to sign funding agreements with a condition to protect gay rights. In Malawi, Germany included a condition to protect gays rights as part of funding to the country, and the Malawi government told the Germans to keep their money.
If it were not for its successful agriculture programme Malawi would have been on its knees today, aggravating the situation for people living with HIV.
For Africa, the writing is on the wall, if you want Western funding bow down to their demands or else your people will suffer.
Aids affects everyone, both homosexuals and heterosexuals.
It is inhuman to deny funding for HIV and Aids services based on a government or society position on an issue of sexual orientation.
Aid must be based on need.
Tapiwa Gomo is a development consultant based in Pretoria, South Africa