|Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 2):|
When will HIV drugs be distributed for free in Africa to end the HIV plague there?
...spoken like someone who's never personally dealt with "Africa", nor been witness to the unfathomable amounts of corruption and (what would seem to the West as) antisocial behavior.
Heck, even back as a child in 1988 spent some time in Zambia/Zimbabwe with my mother on a mission trip. She using her medical expertise, the rest of us entertaining children while their parents received care.
Before we got there, it was really no shock how AIDS was spreading. The doctors had about two dozen needles between them for injections to help stave off several diseases. Unfortunately, they only properly sterilized them at night. Between uses, they'd just dip the dips in a mixture of water an ammonia. You read it correct-- not alcohol, ammonia.
Anyways, our church, and several others, had raised nearly $50,000 to bring free
needles and other equipment to people living outside of Chegutu. The trucks came late, and the supplies were therefore were left in the main hospital's storage room.
Well, by morning--- they were gone. Not broken into. The hospital staff had sold them off to the highest bidder in exchange for who-knows-what. I was only 7 years old, but I remember thinking HOW
THE F#*K could these people do this when our church spent MONTHS trying to raise that to help them?
Most of the staff had seen this sorta thing before. They shook it off, and made due with what we had left. To this day, the shock's never worn off with me.
Fastforward to 1994, back in Zimbabwe... this time in the city of Kadoma.
Teaching proper condom use. Ha!
Thousands of "free" condoms, raised from churches and health groups.... and when we give them out, we find out that even with translators, the people just didn't get it.
We demonstrated condom use by putting them on bananas and sticks. Well-- guess what the people did: they put 'em on bananas and sticks. Many thought of it as a talisman.
So basically, grown-ass men, at the expense of their pride--- had to strip down in front of throngs of villagers, and show them EXACTLY how to use a condom, live. And the people finally got the idea: and they soundly REJECTED it!!!
They thought it was evil. Take the Catholic view on birth control, and multiply it by 10. They couldn't fathom the concepts of stopping disease = saving lives. All they could see is the idea of these rubbery things stopping males "right" to impregnate any female in the vicinity.
.....so anyways, to address your post:
suffice to say that any time I've done anything in Africa to help Africa, I always leave there thinking that the best things we can give them are Fat Man and Little Boy, but definitely not anything free. And that's a damn shame of a thing to be reduced to thinking