Yes, I was predictable.
Like millions of other people around the globe I googled “Annie Lennox HIV POSITIVE”.
In 0.24 seconds I got 33,700 results.
No, it appears she is not HIV+ … though some reports were trying to play coy by neither confirming nor disputing the information with a splattering of others suggesting that we can’t know for sure. But who cares really? Seriously.
I do know that the question drums noisily at the back of a lot of my acquaintances heads as well with regards to me*. I once had a senior member of my Bank asked me point blank in front of my boss. I guess it was at the tip of his tongue and before he could stop himself, it rolled off.
I was also once asked to verify some statistics supplied by my Retail Head’s colleague son to him on the subject. I have found myself saying, ‘just give him condoms. Better safe than sorry,’ in a deadpan manner when the subject was raised by a rather religious colleague.
People generally lack information.
And with the dark that clouds them, fear creeps in along with nasty imaginations. The point is we can’t hide from the fact that 33 million people who lives amongst us are HIV +. And yes, these are the 33 million people whom we know about; the 33 million people who stood brave, got themselves tested and reports themselves as a statistics.
As my mother now quips confidently, ‘It’s a disease like any others. It’s frankly one of the better diseases to have.’
With proper medical attention and awareness on how to live with HIV + people living with HIV+ (PLIHIV) lead a very normal, healthy live for over a decade, some stretching to 2.
If anything this year’s American Idol Gives Back did with the Annie Lennox clip was to show that there’s hope and you can really make a positive difference; where a child who was so frail (possibly with CD count of 300-400) with access
to medical attention looks vibrant and healthy months later.
And what do we millions care?
If Annie Lennox is HIV +.
I am truly embarrassed at myself, really. Me, of all people checking it out!
But in any case, the other important information for the star glitzy night came from Sir Elton John on awareness, responsibility and access to medical attention. I can’t stress the last point enough.
Why access to medical attention is important?
First, one needs the knowledge, to take action and to be responsible.
Second, the ability to acquire the medical services and medication, which in most cases is just popping a couple of pills twice a day like you do with Vits.
So, yes mommy is rite, HIV+ is really just a disease like any other and there are worse diseases to have.
The biggest challenge? stigma; not HIV +
The law protects PLHIV; in that the right to disclose his/her condition remains with the sufferer, not society.