As 2020 comes to an end, a year turned upside down by a pandemic that has seen the deaths of 21,000 people in South Africa and 1.5 million worldwide, HIV comes to the end of its fourth decade of turning lives upside down around the world.
Nearly 33 million people have died of Aids-related illnesses throughout the world since 1981, at least 3 million of them in South Africa alone.
Yet as the promise of vaccines brings light to the end of the tunnel as far as stopping the Covid-19 pandemic goes, the Aids epidemic quietly marches on.
In 2019, 72,000 people in South Africa died of Aids-related illnesses. The disease is still very much with us, given that 200,000 people in South Africa were infected with HIV in that same year.
This is a problem that isn't going away.
Powerful anti-retroviral medications save lives and dramatically reduce the chance of transmission, but they have not been the magic bullet many once thought they would be.
The solution to the Aids epidemic remains more complicated than provisioning tablets. Why? Because at the very centre of it all are people. And people, as we know, are complicated, contradictory and often not...