LibLink…Lynne Featherstone: Hope and HIV in Malawi

Lynne Featherstone has been writing at the Huffington Post about her visit to Malawi. She talked about sitting with a father just after he found out he had HIV. She explores in the article how that man and others can be helped by intitiatives she is responsible for:

There was little hope in the eyes of the father I sat with shortly after he learnt he was living with HIV. Cradling his son in his arms, together they faced the agonising wait for the boy’s test results.

While 68,000 people die of AIDS-related illnesses here every year, HIV/AIDS no longer needs to be a death sentence. I am in Malawi to see how the Department for International Development‘s support is making an impact on the ground and reviewing how British development aid can be made even more effective.

Our funding means the father I met will become one of thousands of people who receive counselling and advice on living with HIV and the much-needed anti-retroviral treatmentswhich will help him lead a normal life.

The hospital also sees 5,000 pregnant women every year and for those who test positive, helps prevent transmission of the virus from mother to child. The work of this hospital and others like it has helped bring HIV prevalence rates down from 11.3% to 7.5% in the last 10 years.

There is a link between violence against women and girls and HIV:

Because the high rate of infection is closely linked to gender disparity and violence against women and girls, I also visited a pioneering policing unit to support victims of gender based violence.

More than 40% of Malawian women have experienced physical or sexual violence – while 60% of girls and 35% of boys have also experienced some form of abuse. For the first time, those in Dedza have a safe haven where they can report the crimes, receive counselling, mediation and advice.

And there’s a need to tackle the stigma of HIV:

One HIV positive lady I met told me she set up a support group because her best friends looked at her husband and her “like dead people” and children refused to play with her kids when they learned of her status.

She said the work of the support group has reduced the stigma attached to HIV and the despair of those living with it as people realise “there is still a life to live”.

That’s her message to the devastated father sitting in the Corridors of Hope.

You can read the whole article here.

* Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary published in print or online.

Read more by or more about , , or .
This entry was posted in LibLink.
Advert

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Evershed 8th Dec - 11:34am
    Is there any evidence that wearing a burqa is part of a religious faith?
  • User AvatarPsi 8th Dec - 11:29am
    First of all, can we stop describing it as “Banning the Burqa” as it si a debate about full face veil not just the Burqa,...
  • User AvatarTim13 8th Dec - 11:26am
    And also - traditionally we have believed in a written constitution in the Lib Dems, to clarify and underwrite the law. The issues of EU...
  • User AvatarDavid 8th Dec - 11:24am
    Amen to: "...the need to have a positive vision.. and tap into feelings and identities which matter to the electorate...how do we encourage politicians to...
  • User AvatarTim13 8th Dec - 11:21am
    BUT people generally detest it when others break either rules or accepted norms. Having a rule in place means that people can and will accept...
  • User AvatarPHIL THOMAS 8th Dec - 11:06am
    No one has yet answered why only 5 of the Lib Dem MP's voted against Article 50 ?