How Traditional Healers Help to Spread AIDS

Here’s a little perspective on the damage that ‘traditional medicine’ can do when you have a population that on one hand cannot access real doctors, and on the other has a pervasive belief in what their witchdoctors tell them. A representative of the Mozambiquan Red Cross has admitted that the practices of local traditional healers are contributing to the spread of HIV/AIDS in the area.

…she conceded that some of their practices continue to spread HIV/Aids. One of these is the “purification rite” that traditional healers recommend after death in a family. This involves a male family member having unprotected sex with a female family member.

In some villages the healers have told them if that does not happen or if a condom is used, the rest of the family members will die.

I really can’t explain how much that disgusts me.  

Thankfully the Red Cross is offering training for traditional healers, and some have begun to practise safer medicine. Little things like not using the same razor blade over and over again on different patients is something that actually has to be taught to people who call themselves ‘healers’. Ugh.


4 Responses to “How Traditional Healers Help to Spread AIDS”

  1. This really sickens me. What pisses me off more, is that our health ministry is giving credence to our own traditional healers, in regards to the traditional health practitioners bill.
    If traditional healers want to be taken seriously they should submit themselves to the scientific process, so that they can TRY and prove there claims.
    Once we get rid of mambo jumbo medicine ( Homeopaths and acupuncturists included) we can then strive to improve the health of our people, without the interference of quacks.

  2. actually – the whole acupuncture thing is a different story. it’s unclear if the results are psychosomatic (too lazy to try to spell that properly) or real. moonflake? any thoughts on that?

    i gotta be honest, though – i just get a kick out of someone inserting needles into me. if it’s harmless i guess it’s alright. and acupuncturists generally don’t advise against real doctors.

  3. Dr. Cuity Yang Says:

    World Situation-AIDS

    Since 1981, more or less 50 million people have been infected by HIV of which over 22 million people already died. Now, over 40 million people are living with HIV. The overall situation in sub-Saharan countries especially in South Africa is terrible. One out of five is being found HIV positive in South Africa and rising each day. The more deadly news on this issue recently was found in Botswana where the prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS has already reached 40 per cent. But the government of these countries is not much concern about this deadly disease. According to the testimony of ‘4th Global Report on AIDS Epidemic’ there are 4.3 million people newly infected in 2006 worldwide and 2.9 million people died for this disease in the same year. The trend shows that the recent years, the ratio of HIV infection has greatly been increased which is worrisome news for the international community.

    Treating ulcerative sexually transmitted diseases reduces the infectivity of HIV in certain populations. STIs/STDs are known to be important in increasing the infectivity of HIV, but to what extent is debatable. However, despite the somewhat conflicting evidence to date, it is generally felt that STI/STDs control is a cost-effective and beneficial HIV-prevention measure in settings where HIV prevalence is low or moderate, where treatable STIs/STDs are highly prevalent, and if treatment is available continuously and efforts are made to find and to treat symptomatic infections. In fact, these conditions apply to a large proportion of the world’s population, including many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, a few in South and Central America, and some parts of India and other countries in Asia. Syndromic STI/STDs diagnosis and treatment has been widely promoted as an HIV-prevention strategy. Yet, there are increasing doubts regarding the efficacy of syndromic STI/STDs diagnosis and treatment for HIV prevention in populations with a low prevalence of STIs and a high prevalence of HIV. The efficacy of syndromic STI/STDs diagnosis and treatment for women’s non-ulcerative STIs/STDs, a high proportion of which are asymptomatic, is also poor. Overall, the question is not whether STIs/STDs should be controlled, but how to do this in different populations and countries for effective HIV/AIDS prevention.

    In the middle of 2003, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has carried-out an exclusive survey in 15 countries round the world on HIV/AIDS status. The result is quite revealing. It says about 50 per cent people of Brazil and Nigeria think that HIV/AIDS is not life-hunting disease at all. The people of South Africa and their government are very much concern about the law & orders but not about this deadly disease. The people of Ukraine, Russia and China are the least concerned about HIV/AIDS. According to the UNAIDS report, these 3 countries are going to fall into the category of HIV epidemic.

    Most of Asia have all the socio-economic and human development factors that fuel the epidemic and make the region collectively vulnerable. This common environment within the region offers opportunities for common regional approaches and tools building on tried and tested successful models that are culturally appropriate and economically feasible.

    The Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation identified four major approaches in a groundbreaking study on spread out HIV in Asia. This study undertook by comparing of social-economic norm, family pattern, economic dependency, cause of mounting sex industries, gender discrimination status & global analysis fact. There are four factors that appear to play a crucial role in HIV transmission in Asian countries: Injection/ intravenous drug use (By sharing needle), female sex work (Due to lack of safe sex knowledge), gender discrimination (which indirectly force females commercial or non-commercial sex), Same sex/ homosexually/ Hijara (Due to lack of HIV/AIDS information, because they act invisible in this society). Poverty & illiteracy fueled it proportionally.

    The scale of the economic impact of HIV is difficult to measure. However, available data show that the epidemic is reversing annual economic growth by 1-2 percent points in worst affected countries. At the micro level, families are hit the hardest, with studies showing drops in income by 80 percent in households with a person living with HIV in Thailand, and drops in food consumption by 40 percent among families in the North East of India. The epidemic is also affecting sectors critical for effective development including health, agriculture, railways, transport, tourism and defense. Another cost-dimension that emerges from the impact of HIV is on business. In a globalized setting, serious epidemics in India and China will have business implications for other Asian countries including Korea and Japan.

    This epidemic is not only killing people but also imposing heavy burden on families, communities and economy. However, though HIV/AIDS is incurable but it is fully preventable. ‘Prevention is better than cure’ is true here and mostly a vital aspect. So, we should choose the options of preventing measure. How can we make it accessible and practicable? It has five options. Firstly, not to do sex; secondly, sex only with your legal life-partner (spouse); thirdly, use condom (latex) during sex; fourthly, not to share needle & syringe; and fifthly, use safe blood transfusion & limb transplantation. These options are very easy, possible and acceptable. However, the best way to tackle a problem is to recognize that it exits and talk about it free and frankly. So, let us all play our role to sustain our future generation and well-being.

    Dr. Cuity Yang
    Independent Consultancy
    Xinwen Rd, Futian District,
    Shenzhen Guangdong

  4. themaddoctor Says:

    Sounds like a scam to get in on the incest action. Perverts!

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