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Old 01-06-2005, 03:18 PM   #16
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I'm sorry about your loss tiny dancer. Ouch.

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Old 01-07-2005, 06:56 AM   #17
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Very sad news, although I'm sure it will urge Nelson Mandela to fight the disease harder than ever before.

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Old 01-07-2005, 08:04 AM   #18
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Mandela saluted for openness about son's AIDS death

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - South African newspapers, AIDS activists and political parties saluted former president Nelson Mandela for publicly saying his only surviving son had died of AIDS.

Hours after Mandela's son died in a Johannesburg hospital on Thursday morning, the Nobel peace laureate called a press conference to announce alongside his family that Makgatho, 54, had died of AIDS.

It made frontpage news in all the local papers with many people applauding the family for going public in a country where stigmatisation is one of the biggest enemies in the fight against AIDS.

"There is no doubt that in a society devastated by HIV/AIDS, the step taken by the Mandelas will encourage those suffering in secret to come out and disclose their status so that they can be saved," the Johannesburg-based The Star newspaper said in an editorial.

AIDS affects more than one in five adults in South Africa, with some 5.3 million people living with HIV and AIDS, according to UN AIDS.

Mandela has been vocal about the fight against AIDS long before his successor, President Thabo Mbeki announced a national treatment plan for HIV sufferers, bowing to criticism that his government had dragged its feet in reacting to the pandemic.

Mandela is among a few South African leaders who have publicly stated that their families had been affected by AIDS.

Veteran Zulu leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi revealed twice last year that both his son, 53-year-old Nelisuzulu and his daughter, Mandisi Sibukakonke, 48, had been killed by the disease.

"I would like to pay tribute to Madiba (Mandela's clan name) for his courageous decision to speak out about the cause of his son's death. Such courage and selflessness is the mark of the man," Buthelezi said.

"I believe the moral authority of his action today will do much to tear down the walls of stigma and silence surrounding this disease."

Prominent AIDS activist Zackie Achmat described Mandela's openness about the disease as "enormously courageous".

"This is really a step forward," Achmat told AFP.

"This is a traumatic experience and yes it takes courage," said Gail Johnson, whose foster son Nkosi died of AIDS at the age of 12 and who made a gripping plea at an international AIDS conference in 2001 to treat sufferers as "normal people".

"But why is there still this stigma? AIDS should be treated like any other disease," Johnson told AFP.
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Old 01-07-2005, 08:39 AM   #19
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Originally posted by Irvine511
it is very, very important to demystify the disease.

speaking only for myself, but i would imagine those who are close to my age might well remember Pedro Zamora from Real World Season 3 in San Francisco (this was back when it was a genuine social experiment, not about drinking and hooking up). it was tremendously encouraging to see not only an out gay man on TV, but one who was smart, funny, charming, and dated another man (who happened to be African American) all while living with HIV. he then died, but i think his influence on normalizing both homosexuality and HIV/AIDS in this country, especially among those who were teenagers in the early 90s, is tremendous.

let's hope Mandela's son can have a similar affect on South Africa, and all of Africa. ignorance kills.

(also don't mean to imply that Mandela's son was gay ... no idea if he is and it isn't important, and outside Europe/North American, AIDS is primarily a heterosexual disease)

I remember Pedro, too.

Very sad about Mandela's son. I'm also sorry for your loss, tiny dancer.
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Old 01-07-2005, 10:11 AM   #20
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God love him, he's had to endure so much.

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