HomeLettersTendayi Westerhof after gullible donors

Tendayi Westerhof after gullible donors

WHILE I agree with you that individuals should be more open about their HIV and Aids status, I would like to raise queries with Tendayi Westerhof’s desire to let everyone know the source of her condition.

ONT face=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>The most difficult part of all communication interventions on the HIV and Aids condition is that public groups and organisations are dealing with private issues in the public domain. It is difficult to control how individuals behave privately, even in marriage settings. Marriage does not entail chaining two tangoing individuals together every hour, every minute.

In fact, five minutes is enough for cheating individuals to have intercourse and transmit the virus.

So Tendayi — who still uses the surname Westerhof publicly — can convince gullible donors that Clemens’ semen (or is it blood?) carried the virus into her body. She forgets that the mere fact that they were never together all the time makes such an accusation quite unconvincing. Had she approached her story differently, without being vindictive, I would have bought several copies of her book for onward distribution.

However, I find myself with a difficult choice between being part of a defamation campaign against an individual and trying to constructively promote genuine dialogue and openness in the campaign to stop the HIV and Aids situation. The Herald finds itself promoting the former by focusing on the parts where she unconvincingly tries to secure public (and donor) sympathy by going public about her private decision to engage in unprotected sexual intercourse.

In fact, my genuine counsel is that disclosure on HIV and Aids matters should be governed by certain principles which do not inconvenience others. In Tendayi’s case, this would include her child, who will read the trauma when she grows up.

Simply put, we have to be wise on decisions relating to our intimacy. Whether one crosses the red robot or is pricked by a needle, education messages about HIV and Aids have given enough warning about its transmission. This includes sexual intercourse where decisions are made privately — except when one is raped of course! The public is never part of these private decisions and they should be spared.

Hlalelo Nkiwane,


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