First I’d like to introduce myself: I’m Hannah Snyder, the new intern here at AFCA. Last semester at Goucher College I took a class titled “HIV/AIDS: Tearing the Social Fabric.” It really challenged me to see the disease as not only medically complex but also socially complex. I was required to teach and lead the class discussion with two other girls one day on the macroeconomic impact of AIDS. We had the class do a role play in which they saw how AIDS spreads and impacts mobile groups (for this example we had them role play as truckers). Some were HIV-positive, others were not but all had to end up with the same basic necessities of life by the end through whatever means necessary. The class remarked how difficult it was to get everything they needed to survive the game: money, medicine, food etc. For me, that just about sums up HIV/AIDS. It’s confusing. How do we help those who are HIV-positive? What if they’re in poverty? How do we tackle this issue in third world countries? There are so many aspects that need to be taken into account. That’s why I took this internship, because I wanted to understand the disease and its impact a little more and see how an organization can help those affected.
I’d like this blog to be an informal, yet still informative, discussion on the nature and impact of this disease as well as on Africa in general. I will share with you my research on the countries that AFCA works with (Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe and the DRC), how HIV has impacted those countries, and the progress in HIV/AIDS research across the globe. I’d also love to hear from the readers. If there is a topic you’d like me to cover in the blog let me know!