The Ngubane Panel was based on activism. Ngubane was a young woman living in South Africa that was diagnosed with AIDS about two years after contracting it. In South Africa, HIV/AIDS is a widespread epidemic, with millions of the country’s population living with it. This environment allowed for Ngubane to realize the effects of the infection, and from this, she decided that she would not succumb to such pains. Ngubane was offered an opportunity to chronicle her day-to-day experiences through a tape recorder. (NPR). She documented her life for a little over a year, and through this, her AIDS diary was created.
The AIDS diary ended up serving as a a motivational mode for anyone, those delaing with AIDS and even those that were not. Ngubane prided herself on staying strong despite her afflicition with AIDS. “My mother always said that you must be tough. Even if you are feeling hurt. You must not always be a jelly belly, cry, cry, cry, cry.” -Thembi Ngubane, from the AIDS Diary
Knowledge is a powerful tool and Thembi has offered all she has learned by reaching out to help other (NPR).
Although Laureano was not an activist, I find that there is much to be done in terms of Puerto Rico’s epidemic. In November 2007, people living with HIV/AIDS gathered in Foley Square in downtown Manhattan to call fro federal attention towards Puerto Rico’s AIDS funding (Newsfeed). It is said that fraudulent government activity, corruption and complacency have led to lack of HIV/AIDS care in the the U.S. commonwealth territory.
While these actions, occurred in 2007, they sparked further means of activism as it relates to Puerto Rican’s with HIV/AIDS. Puerto Rican activists like Rosie Perez and Juan Mendez have come forth to make their voices heard for their country and people.
Zackie Achmat is a well known South African activist. In 1998, Achmat launched the Treatment Action Campaign which aimed to protest to the governments’ refusal to distribute anti-viral drugs. He went on to advocate for gay rights and against other political wrongdoings.
Achmat publicly announced his HIV-positive status in 1998 and refused to take antiretroviral drugs until all who needed them had access to them. He held firm in his pledge until August 2003 when a national congress of TAC activists voted to urge him to begin antiretroviral treatment. He later announced that he would start treatment shortly before the government made antiretrovirals available to the public (Id, Les).
This mode of activist and initiative is very important. Unity and resilience is against unfair treatments are sure ways to get results. Many looking for answers or solutions should join or start a group such as Achmat’s.
Pedro Julio Serrano is an openly gay, HIV positive human rights activist. Serrano is he executive director of a non profit organization that strives for the inclusion of LGBT individuals and for social justice throughout Puerto Rico.
With his active speeches and conferences across Puerto Rico, Serrano is working towards a complete reform in terms of the treatment of people. Along with the HOV/AIDS and the LGBT community, Serrano works alongside the Puerto Rico police department in order to bring forth social reform for all.
Pedro Julio has been a prominent voice in the fight against hate crimes, demanding the investigation of possible crimes motivated by prejudice against sexual orientation and health status. He led a historic visit of elected officials from New York and Illinois who visited Puerto Rico in solidarity with the fight against hate crimes against LGBT people (Costantini).
Not only does Pedro Julio fight for the rights in relation to things he deals with, but for others as well. Many should take a page from Serrano’s book and look at things on a less personal level, and more so for the greater good.
As they say, knowledge is power. Along with activism, specified education programs will go a long way as a a part of HIV/AIDS prevention. As seen through previously discussed research on South Africa, many of the young adult population is diagnosed with HIV/AIDS as they typically drop out of school. Through this, earlier HIV/AIDS education and intervention need to be instilled given the high prevalence rate
In doing so, the spread of HIV/AIDS will be decreased and certain stigmas eradicated. If the people are given information on how the disease is specifically transferred, there will be more of a coming together and understanding of the people.