Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

AIDS and Africa

Listening to BBC yesterday, I learned that in Ghana, men forbid their wives to get HIV testing. If the wife tests positive, it makes public his own shame, carrying HIV, and they don’t want people to know they are infected. They will even resist being treated rather than confess to having HIV.

Recently a Ghanian man divorced his wife for testing positive, even denied he was infected. She states he is the only man she has ever been with. He said she is bringing shame on him, going public.

What tragedy. What folly. Life enhancing, life prolonging drug treatments are available. First, you have to acknowledge you are infected. And, of course, if the women do not get tested, the dreaded disease passes along to the babies.

The newspaper recently published an article that 129 Kuwaitis are HIV positive. I imagine the problems here are similar, that people would prefer it all be kept very private. Is that possible? Is confidentiality respected? Do couples have blood tests before getting married?

June 29, 2008 - Posted by | Africa, Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Health Issues, Interconnected, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Marriage, Mating Behavior, Social Issues, Statistics


  1. This is corruption! Not thinking outside the box.
    I know some people who did some tests before getting married and I was surprised (happy surprised that is) to know people are aware of such issues!

    Comment by Ansam | June 29, 2008 | Reply

  2. I don’t know that it is corruption as much as it is cultural taboos. It’s almost a hope that if you deny AIDs exists, it won’t exist. You know me, it just makes me mad that the Ghanaian men bring it home, infect their wives, and the women then get the blame.

    Comment by intlxpatr | June 29, 2008 | Reply

  3. i blame the UN.

    Comment by Mrm | June 30, 2008 | Reply

  4. You do, Mrm? I don’t know if you really do or if you are being funny. Wish I could see your face, it might give me a clue.

    Comment by intlxpatr | June 30, 2008 | Reply

  5. I suppose for many men AIDS is the disease they would rather not think about or acknowledge its existence.

    The Ghanaian story is sad and perhaps typical.

    I don’t know about Kuwait but I am pleased to know that there are calls for mandatory premarital testing (blood tests for STD’s and also for genetic compatibility )

    Comment by jewaira | June 30, 2008 | Reply

  6. Yeh, Jewaira, I imagine women would rather not think about it either, but I suspect they are more likely to face the music and try to get treatment because they worry about who will take care of the children.

    And Wooo HOOO on the couples who get the blood tests! That takes great courage, especially if there are problems with genetics.

    Comment by intlxpatr | June 30, 2008 | Reply

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