Botswana’s HIV/AIDS Policies Should Serve People With Disabilities, Advocate Says
People living with disabilities in Botswana largely have been ignored when HIV/AIDS policies and programs are formulated, Isaacs Nkganetsang, chair of the Botswana Society of People with Disabilities, said recently, adding that HIV/AIDS policymakers should take the population into account, Botswana's Mmegi reports.
"Somehow when people come up with strategies for fighting AIDS, [people with disabilities] are not taken on board," Nkganetsang said, adding that increased attention should be focused on members because they are more vulnerable to the disease. Nkganetsang noted that people with various disabilities need programs to cater to their unique needs. He added that the group needs to be represented and involved in major decision making about HIV/AIDS policies.
People with disabilities need education on HIV prevention because they "face the same challenges that other people face" and often are "more disadvantaged," Nkganetsang said. He added, "It is like people think that [people living with disabilities] 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 issues surrounding HIV/AIDS and people with disabilities (Legodimo, Mmegi, 11/19).