It’s interesting how HIV/AIDS has slipped down the list of things that South Africans worry about. Perhaps we’ve been distracted by other things – Malema, Zuma, rhino poaching, e-tolling – and perhaps it’s because the disease is simply less of issue now that the government is rolling out ARVs, our president isn’t telling us it’s a racist conspiracy and our minister of health isn’t advocating beetroot and garlic. How times change.
It’s appropriate that World AIDS Day should fall into the 16 Days of Activism, because this disease has a profound impact on women – from victims of rape who must be treated with ARVs, to pregnant mothers at risk of passing the disease onto their children, to the grandmothers who must support the household in the wake of the death of the parents.
To commemorate today, I’ve painted the AIDs ribbon with the figure of a child, an image inspired by rhythmic gymnastics.