Botswana's HIV/AIDS Policies Should Serve People With Disabilities

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People living with disabilities in Botswana largely have been ignoredwhen HIV/AIDS policies and programs are formulated, Isaacs Nkganetsang,chair of the Botswana Society of People with Disabilities, saidrecently, adding that HIV/AIDS policymakers should take the populationinto account, Botswana's Mmegi reports.

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"Somehowwhen people come up with strategies for fighting AIDS, [people withdisabilities] are not taken on board," Nkganetsang said, adding thatincreased attention should be focused on members because they are morevulnerable to the disease. Nkganetsang noted that people with variousdisabilities need programs to cater to their unique needs. He addedthat the group needs to be represented and involved in major decisionmaking about HIV/AIDS policies.

People with disabilities neededucation on HIV prevention because they "face the same challenges thatother people face" and often are "more disadvantaged," Nkganetsangsaid. He added, "It is like people think that [people living withdisabilities] do not have those dreams and aspirations of starting ...families" and "have nothing to do with sexuality and reproduction."According to Nkganetsang, the society aims to address this perception,as well as to encourage people to become involved with issuessurrounding HIV/AIDS and people with disabilities (Legodimo, Mmegi, 11/19).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyHIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report ispublished for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser FamilyFoundation.

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