AIDS - My Experiences
Written by Mr. Isaac Chikwanha(ALT)

Do you know AIDS?Before coming to Japan I worked in different hospitals as both a physician and surgeon. Most (90%) of all the patients I saw were HIV positive or had HIV/AIDS related diseases. Besides the patients I saw in the hospitals, I also had, and still have, family members, relatives, friends and colleagues with HIV/AIDS.

Now the infection rate in Zimbabwe is about 20% of the population. This means about 3 million people in Zimbabwe have the disease. This is a very high number and I am sure everyone is interested to know why.

The main reason is Attitude. In my country, AIDS awareness education starts as early as elementary school, so everyone knows how you can get AIDS and how NOT to get it but people had the attitude that’s AIDS is someone else’s problem and it can never happen to them. Everyone thought that only prostitutes, gay people or poor people got AIDS and because of that attitude, the problem slowly grew until it exploded and then people realized that AIDS can affect anyone. AIDS has no boundaries – it can affect rich people, poor people, Africans, Asians, Europeans, children, adults, ordinary people, famous people, professionals, etc.

Another problem is that sometimes it can take up to 10 years before someone infected with the HIV virus starts showing symptoms. During that time, an infected person can look very healthy (handsome, cool, beautiful and cute) on the outside but the virus will be multiplying in their bodies and they can also spread it to their sexual partners. Because of this, many people, especially young people get infected unknowingly.

Japan is the only developed country in the world were the infection rate is actually going up and I think the main reasons are just the same as we had in Zimbabwe 20 years ago. The Attitude that AIDS is an African problem, or poor peoples’ problem, or big cityStop the AIDS! people’s problem. Also, in Japan you never see people with full blown AIDS in public so many people don’t really believe it can happen to them, their family or their partners.

Like teenagers all over the world, JHS and HS is the time when most young people have dramatic changes to their bodies because of puberty and the natural changes to the body’s hormones and some will start feeling the urge to do adult things. My advice to you is to always be carefull and try to control yourself. Avoid exposing yourself to situations were you can get infected with HIV. The BEST way would be to avoid engaging in sexual activities before you get married but for those who cannot wait for some reason, always use protection like condoms. Remember even condoms are not 100 % safe. Besides HIV/AIDS there are many other sexually transmitted diseases you could get or unwanted pregnancies. All these things can tragically limit your chances to enjoy your life fully.

Health lecture : 2008/10/28

Japanese Translation Previous Page Kumamoto Kokufu-HS(Japanese)