HIV

The silent killer is very alive here in Africa … hard to say why it has sort of fallen off the radar in the states with the flurry of other global causes. In Nkomazi at the Mbambiso school, TRIAD TRIAD is placing their heart and soul into the youth and the education about what will probably happen to them if they do not take control of their own lives.  without attention, all indicators say that half of this ninth grade class will be dead by the age of 30.  that is not a typo – 50%.  This was a very good week for the organization, in volunteer testing this week ninety percent of the kids got tested for hiv, the compliance is an incredible number compared to many other organized tests.  the people from TRIAD say seeing a test come back positive and having to inform the child is crushing.  all of these kids have seen death from hiv, be it immediate family or close friends, there is an awareness, yet the culture of teenage sexual activity is a hard habit to alter. no is still the best answer here and other areas as protection is pretty doubtful.

The appearance of the Masekelas to reinforce the teachings was an emotional music and straight talk afternoon.  Hugh is a star and a private performance with a call and answer sing along with him is genuine and loud.  sal is very well known in south africa, the daily 10 is a hit here – a fathers words are understood, but sal is a bit more of a peer and his words may have an even greater gravity.  The curriculum approach is not religious yet it feels like southern gospel. the message is communicated in english and native tongue via skit and song.  there is a long way to go, but this classroom shows hope that the numbers have the possibility of slowing down.

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