1st Place winner of the Nata website essay contest was Kedibonye Elijah. She is pictured above with her envelope containing P300 (about U.S. $57). Below is her essay, How HIV/AIDS has affected my life. Congratulations Kedibonye!!!! We are so proud of you!! By the way, she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. She is currently in the 6th grade. As you read her essay, realize she lives in a country that only started using ARV's widely in the past 5 years.
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. This is the virus that causes AIDS. AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. This is the last stage of an HIV infection and usually leads to death. The disease was first reported in 1985 in Botswana and it spreads very quickly. At present about a quarter of the adult popluation are infected with HIV/AIDS. This has affected my life because families fall apart as parents die and children are orphaned. The government spends more money on health care. This disease has affected all the world. Everyone is affected by HIV/AIDS, even those who are not infected. There is more absence at schools and workplaces. There are more deaths and funerals. There is no cure for HIV/AIDS. You cannot get HIV from someone who is affected by hugging, shaking hands, sneezing, and sitting next to an infected person. HIV is spread through unprotected sexual intercourse, infected blood and other bodily fluids and transmission from an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy, labour or breastfeeding. Once infected a person remains so for life. I don't sleep because of this disease because many people are dying and leaving the young generation behind. HIV/AIDS should be everyones concern and we all have to wake up and fight the battle.