Friday, November 18, 2011

Life is awesome sometimes.

I am so incredibly happy today, and here is why...

I met with my academic director this morning to get my research started. We started by taking tea, of course. He then showed me all of these articles on the stigmitization of HIV/AIDS here in Gulu and then gave me all of the statistics that are present here. Here are some statistics he told me... 1) The municiple district I am in has an HIV/AIDS prevelance rate of 1 in 4 (2) The barracks that contain Ugandan soldiers have a prevelance rate of 50% (3) A pub here called Buganda Pub on any given night would have a prevelance rate of over 70% (4) You go outside of this district, and the prevelance is 12%. First, that is insane... Second, it is also really messed up. I asked Dr. David why the prevelance is so high and he explained that it was because Kampala sends their infected soldiers here to Gulu, where it is then spread to the rest of Gulu. I am not sure if the government does this on purpose, but either way, it is not okay.

So that isn't why I think life is awesome sometimes... this is why...

I have been dealing with some added B.S. from the US on an action I participated in last May. I was protesting AIDS budget cuts to PEPFAR. I have been doubting my action ever since there has been all of this extra drama from the US court, but today made me really happy to have done the action. I was speaking the the head doctor of the Infectious Disease Clinic and she asked me where I was from.... I said the US. She then looked at me and said "Oh, you guys scared us this year when you were deciding the budget for PEPFAR". I asked her how the cuts would have affected her unit (it is a government unit), she said they would have had to cut staff by half, and may not even have been able to keep it running. I then told her how I participated in an action against it, and she gave me a big hug and said thank you.

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