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Namibia HIV women sue over forced sterilisation

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posted on Jun, 1 2010 @ 09:06 PM

Originally posted by Spazzy

i think i've seen enough "choice" to allow the government some leeway when they want to sterilize people. i think this is a great idea and should be used liberally.

by any chance could you clarify which side of this you are on?

posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 08:23 PM

Originally posted by RedGolem

Originally posted by halfoldman
The people who can pay and are employed do pay for the now affordable treatments. Whatever the cost, it is better to have living parents than the higher cost of Aids orphans.

you are speaking like a drug company representative.
That being aside though I am glad the drugs are working.

South Africans fought the drug companies tooth and nail for affordable treatment.
If you are glad the drugs are working, then why still forcibly sterilize women? Sure, the option should be there, but it is dangerous to force unwanted treatments onto people.
In South Africa and the former SWA (now Namibia) Western medicine and family planning were viewd with suspicion by blacks, because birth control and sterilization were seen as a method by the apartheid government to reduce the black population (a view not entirely without merit). HIV/Aids was widely regarded as a myth to stop black people from having children. If word spread that forced sterilization was indeed taking place (so far it's allegations) blacks would simply avoid Western medicine, and all the work now reducing infection rates through volunatary testing, counselling and the option of treatment where necessary would be doomed.
The social reaction would cause more infection and Aids orphans.
Secondary infections common to African HIV patients like highly virulent strains of MDR and XDR TB would also spread unchecked, and they would spread freely across the globe. Trust between the populace and the medical system is crucial to prevent outbreaks of many other viruses, most of them airborne and far more infectious than HIV. We are not closed societies and host masses of tourists and international sporting events. Confining and treating people with resistant forms of TB is already an unpopular challenge. Fortunately people understand that the TB treatment is temporary and effective, while sterilization is permanent and undermines the crucial cultural importance of fertility.
Sterilizing women will have little effect on HIV: not all African women go to Western hospitals for childbirth, not all women submit themselves for voluntary testing and even then a "window period" exists which causes negative test-results in the common antibody tests.
Infected men are more likely to spread the virus to a number of women due to male economic power, male migrant labor systems, and for biological reasons (the vagina is more likely to fissure, and has a greater surface area than specific cells on the penis).
So perhaps to really reduce HIV one should rather "sterilize" or castrate men? Then you'd have a real revolution, possibly a civil war.

In SA we have a conservative estimate of 5.5 million people living with HIV and Aids. Virtually everybody and every family is affected. It is not 1 or 2% of "high risk groups" like in some Western countries. Politicians, doctors, teachers and nurses are infected and affected. So sterilization would be the work of maverick doctors, since people would never stand for it as a policy - and the agency of these women who are taking legal steps is proof that a non-human rights approach to HIV will not be tolerated.

[edit on 2-6-2010 by halfoldman]

posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 08:41 PM
Well I'd agree with sterilization. In a country that has no means of supporting the people it already has or the people themselves having zero ability to raise a child free from starvation or severe poverty, Yeah Clip em.

posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 09:27 PM
reply to post by Lil Drummerboy

What country or countries do you have in mind?
What army of "clippers" should be sent?

Perhaps then first "clip" them in the Western countries where HIV-positive people are tiny minorities without the huge political and social influence for mass action that they have here in southern Africa.

The only "clipping" encouraged here is male circumcision, which has been proven by several studies to massively reduce male infection, and thereby female infection too.

Do forced female sterilization in your own backyard and see if it makes a difference.

[edit on 2-6-2010 by halfoldman]

posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 09:34 PM
Glad they can find money for this crap... Africa obviously no longer needs our donations so lets send them elsewhere or better still to kids in our own country... Kids who aint going to judge....

Thanks xxxx

posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 10:10 PM
reply to post by Yissachar1

I think you may be relpying to the original OP post, and the allegations about forced sterilization in Namibia. It is unlikely that Western donors would be supporting a policy of sterilization. This should not reflect badly on many successful HIV/Aids programs.

In any case, I think I may have misinterpreted the post and whom it was adressed to (in which case, please ignore the following), but I'll keep it just in case:

"What "crap"? Successful, effective programs are crap?
What do you mean "Kids who won't judge"? Who's judging anybody? Is it being judgemental to simply say that female sterilization won't work? How is that judging anyone?

Africa is not a monolithic entity, or a single country, neither are the programs solely run on donations, in fact it is Western industry that benefits.
Under George W. Bush the religious right's ideology influenced much of the donations to certain NGOs, especially in Uganda. This often came with ideological strings attached - for example, no organization that supported decriminilized prostitution (a vital link in infection chains) could be funded.
So, yes, in some regions donations were a main player, and their effects are still debated.
So sure, the general taxpayer in the West should be able to choose whether to support HIV/Aids programs or not. Many people and organizations who understand the complex global issues will continue their support.
It's OK to be isolationists - unfortunately disease is never isolationalist.
But we have drugs from countries like Brazil and India, and the most affected country (SA) is struggling in many ways, but it is not the poorest country in Africa, so yeah, do meddle less and fund or sterilize your own kids."

[edit on 2-6-2010 by halfoldman]

posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 10:37 PM
reply to post by halfoldman

No offense to your country, but I do truly fear that as a result of the World Cup this summer , there will be a global surge in various forms of communicable disease, like aggressive forms of TB.

In regards to the castration of men, i think this is a much better route to take to cut back on hiv transmission, especially since many men follow witch doctors advice who tell them to rape virgins, not to mention the regular raping of women in african countries.

SO yes for a much more effective measure it would be to castrate or cut off the men.

posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 10:48 PM

Originally posted by halfoldman
The southern African countries (except Zimbabawe) are middle income countries and should be able to provide free ARVs.

I'd have to take a closer look at the economics of that.

Namibia isn't the poorest country but how much treatment they can afford depends on how much the drugs cost. They do have limited income and wealth.

I think even the US overestimated how much it can and should spend on health care. At some point they have to realize they can't afford to put a CAT scanner and MRI machine on every corner. Unfortunately every country no matter what the wealth level has to make some choices on how to allocate finite funds on health care.

And it's really a shame that SA has such a huge problem, but SA has significantly more per capita income than Namibia according to this:

So I would think that with higher incomes come more and better treatment options.

posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 10:52 PM
reply to post by Desolate Cancer

Concerning communicable disease, yes, I agree it is a huge concern for us with the World Cup (you mean our winter). Our own population will suffer the most, and we already have stockpiling of vaccines and anti-virals for "World Cup purposes", as well as clinics being cleared for visitors at our expense.
Considering that the last viral scares came from the East and Mexico/America, we are taking a huge risk.

As for men being rapists - I just read on the War Children and the mass rapes of the Nazis and others in WW II, the Balkan War, the invasion of Manchuria and even Vietnam and colonialism. Sure "clip" all the men from those "rapist nations" - however, I doubt surviving patriarchal structures will mutilate the symbol of their own gender power.

[edit on 2-6-2010 by halfoldman]

posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 11:08 PM
reply to post by Desolate Cancer

A major issue in Namibia's history was the German genocide against the Herero nation (around 1904). After an uprising General Trotha slaughtered the Herero, drove them into the desert, or enslaved them in concentration camps in an eerie foreshadowing of the holocaust.
Herero women were systematically raped by German soldiers in camps such as Shark Island.
Descendants of these rapes and atrocities have long pertioned Germany for payment. However, the SWAPO government is largely of the Ovambo tribe, and they have never supported the Herero grievances.
Germany has refused to negotiate on personal levels without government channels, although they continue to donate and invest in Namibia.

[edit on 2-6-2010 by halfoldman]

posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 11:09 PM
reply to post by halfoldman

No no I am talking about your proposal that it would be more effective to prevent the spread of aids to clip men than women. Further the rape I am talking about is from the advice of witch doctors who say that hiv/aids can be cured by having sex with a virgin.

Your comment about war criminals in nazi and bosnia using rape as a weapon is true they did. But does that make it ok or a reason to not stop it from happening in your country and in much of Africa?

As for the communicability of diseases sure the home country has the biggest risk, but thats part of the deal when getting something like the world cup or olympics and is expected to be covered by the home country just like in all circumstances before. However this world cup being in Africa there will be many africans from all over who will venture to the games and mingle with the other continental crowds.

[edit on 2-6-2010 by Desolate Cancer]

posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 11:31 PM
reply to post by Desolate Cancer

Well, the current medical consensus seems to be to "snip" (circumsize men) rather than to "clip" (force sterilization) on anyone.
The exact spread and evidence of "virgin rape" to cure HIV is uncertain. It is currently a non-issue. A lot of "witchdoctors" are nowadays quite informed on HIV, and work with the clinics and doctors. However, that element of "muti murders" does remain a fact.
If "virgin" rape because of HIV superstition still occurs it must be very hidden, because there hasn't been a case of this lately.
Incidentally, the belief also existed in Europe at the time of the pox (syphilis).

posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 11:36 PM
reply to post by halfoldman

Also, let's be clear on what we mean by "Africa" and its HIV pandemic.
Most of Africa has a low rate of infection. It is southern Africa that is struggling, possibly because it had so many refugees from other areas due to its economic power.

This has conceptually always been problematic for the ANC government - with freedom and open borders to the rest of Africa after the demise of apartheid came a new killer, and HIV came with "freedom".

[edit on 2-6-2010 by halfoldman]

posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 12:58 AM

Originally posted by halfoldman
reply to post by halfoldman

Also, let's be clear on what we mean by "Africa" and its HIV pandemic.
Most of Africa has a low rate of infection. It is southern Africa that is struggling, possibly because it had so many refugees from other areas due to its economic power.

This has conceptually always been problematic for the ANC government - with freedom and open borders to the rest of Africa after the demise of apartheid came a new killer, and HIV came with "freedom".

[edit on 2-6-2010 by halfoldman]

This is why the internet and sites like this are so wonderful. Being able to interact with an intelligent person from across the world. Who opens my eyes and mind to view points and ideas I would never have been able to recognize myself.

It is an ironic twist that with freedom has come disease and other problems. But I think this speaks more to the fact of how bad shape the rest of africa is in. I do not think however that an influx of refugees who are seeking better lives would cause a surge in AIDS. The reason for the high HIV #'s must be something else, maybe a stronger bisexual culture, or a more liberal extramarital sex.

But I just dont see why refugees who are seeking better lives and opportunities would bring or cause an explosion in STD's, otherwise other destinations of similar nature would fall victim to the same thing, like europe or US etc, since they are also destinations for people seeking better lives.

posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 01:29 AM
reply to post by Desolate Cancer

Well, from what I've generally read in journals and the gay press, and other updated material on HIV - most heterosexual HIV/Aids in Western Europe's case are from foreigners, or people who have visited high risk areas.
The most common problem in South Africa is concurrent relationships. That is, men keep several female partners in rural/urban locations and have sex with them over a short period of time. In the West serial monogamy is more common, which is not so good in spreading the virus. Even if one partner has it, they are likely to find out before they move on.
The migrant labor system based around the mines has meant that SA men have formed networks of "wives" and extended families. HIV travels very fast along such networks.
There is little doubt however that HIV/Aids ravaged sub-Saharan Africa, from its apparent points of origin in the West, to the East and the South, and we were its logical destination.
The fact is that HIV was not a heterosexual problem as long as apartheid policies secured our borders.
Others say apartheid also contributed to the problem by sending people into exile to the north, who would return with the virus.

posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 02:35 AM
reply to post by halfoldman

Isn't it outrageous to further "punish" the African female body, when they are THE most victimized group on the planet (below white women and African men), and often have THE least power to negotiate safe sex?

posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:06 AM
I find the whole witch doctor telling men to have sex with virgins to cure Aids/HIV to be the biggest snow job I've ever heard.
Maybe in a very small minority of cases but not in the MAJORITY of cases of rape.
It's just an excuse to cover up the most malicious wanton crime perpetuated by men on women in Africa today.

I watched a documentary a few nights ago about the story of 3 young girls who were raped and what happened afterwards with the law and their lives.
During the show, statistics were mentioned that would totally horrify you if it happened in your country.

1 in 3 girls will not be able to graduate high school (those lucky enough to go to school of course) without being GANG RAPED.
Yes folks, its not the lone rapist who was advised by his witch doctor to do it to cure his Aids. But males as young as 10 pack raping young girls.

2 in 3 girls will not be able graduate high school without being raped by either a family member (often fathers) or a close family/community male member.

Those are the disgusting horrifying statistics of what is happening to females in Africa.

The solution isn't to sterilize females with HIV/AIDS who often are the victims of rape by infected males but to do something about the predominance of RAPE in the country.
If only 1 in 3 women in Africa reach adulthood without being raped and abused by potentially AIDS infected men, then it's quite easy to see how this absolute blight and war on humanity - RAPE AND AIDS/HIV- is never going to be won.

It seems a blame the woman kind of scenario when in this instance the men of Africa have a lot to answer for.

Something really needs to be done urgently to protect women in Africa against AIDS but also RAPE as that seems to be how it's getting spread around to begin with.
Not irresponsible consensual sex with an infected partner as most seem to think BUT RAPE.

I wish these women all the luck in the world with their court case.
More than likely they contracted AIDs through being assaulted and why should they have to live with THAT as well as the prospect that they will never be able to have a child either who can bring joy into their lives?
In this day and age, HIV isn't a death sentence and women in western countries who have it don't pass it on to their kids.
To make these sterile without their knowledge is like assaulting their bodies yet again.

[edit on 3-6-2010 by Flighty]

posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 04:30 AM
Some women may be at fault here, but if more men could keep their *beeps* in their pants and work on their condescending attitudes it wouldnt be such a big problem

In my very humble opinion

posted on Jun, 7 2010 @ 10:57 PM
reply to post by Flighty

There is a rural (traditional) and urban (Westernized) experience of being "African". So I do not want to stereotype or generalize too much. However one should consider that our president, Jacob Zuma is a polygamist.
African culture is still strong in the sense that "lobola" or cattle/money are paid as a bride-price. A woman who is infertile may be returned to her family and a refund or even fines may be demanded.

Known infertility could mean the loss of social status for a woman (and whatever children she may have).
It is not a policy option.

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