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AIDS/ Rose (Uganda): A prostitute with HIV is a human being who deserves love

ROSE BUSINGYE, who cares for people living with HIV in Uganda, comments on what has happened in Greece, where officials posted photos of prostitutes infected with HIV on the internet.

(Infophoto) (Infophoto)

"The person who posted the photos of prostitutes with AIDS made a cruel choice which shows a lack of respect first of all for themselves. This is not to justify the women of the street, but to realize that the method used by the Greek government is wrong." These are the words of Rose Busingye, the head of the Meeting Point in Kampala, after the minister of Athens, Michalis Chrysochoidis requested and was granted by the Greek police to publish the photos of prostitutes infected with HIV. Officially, this was decided to help prevent the spread of HIV, but it has provoked protests from NGOs who help the sick, “this is a horrible violation of human rights and confidentiality in the medical field. It is an unprecedented stigma".

Rose Busingye has been at the forefront of those caring for people living with HIV in Uganda for 20 years, and does not believe this is the correct way to face this terrible, real problem.  According to Rose, "When a person does not recognize himself, does not know who he is and where he comes from, he does not value himself or others, and so is unable to act differently from the way the minister of Athens acted".

A prostitute suffering from AIDS in our society is considered just a waste...
Instead, a prostitute is a human being just like a politician or chief of police. The people who put the photos online are devoid of respect first of all for themselves and secondly for those they are facing. The people who made this cruel choice demonstrate a lack of identity and of consciousness of themselves. This is where violence against oneself and others is born. Who can imagine that putting their photos on the Internet will make prostitutes with AIDS safe? In this way, the situation will only get worse. Change does not come through violence but through tenderness towards oneself and others.

Where does this new way of treating AIDS patients come from?
First of all from the fact that someone had this tenderness towards me. Even a government, as a political or a social environment, completely depends on the people who compose it. If these people accept the fact that they are loved, they will love others. Otherwise, they will express the malice they carry within themselves. The prostitutes will not change their lives because their photos are published on the Internet, but because of the tenderness and love they feel directed towards themselves, leading them to desire to do the same.

How can a prostitute not be regarded as an evil to be isolated?