Stimga

 

Learning about stigma in "Do You Know It All"

Learning about stigma in “Do You Know It All”

 

Do You Know It All? (Stigma)

Simon Mukuba knows a lot about HIV. He makes it his business to share that knowledge with everyone else so that they don’t get infected. He knows HIV is a curse caused by evil spirits, and how you can catch it through the merest of contact. When an orphaned boy kicks a ball near his niece, he quickly strides in to stop her going near it. Yes, he knows about HIV. So when Kibii Kabooka Kibing appears through his cloud of magical dust, it’s Simon who’s picked to play the big, cash-prize Do You Know It All challenge. The wheel spins, the crowd holds its breath, and it stops at the HIV sign. Yahoo! Simon’s favourite subject!! For each correct answer, Simon will keep a 100-note bill, and for each incorrect answer, the crow will snatch it away. Needless to say, his first three answers are hopelessly wrong. Final question: Is Simon Mukuba HIV positive? Simon is horrified. Certainly not, he’s as healthy as a buffalo! But, as Kibing points out, there’s no way of knowing unless you’ve been tested. Simon loses the game, but both he and the other villagers are made to reflect. Perhaps people living with HIV or AIDS deserve their support, not their fear. Perhaps they should get all tested, now they know that you can’t be infected through ordinary day-to-day contact. And if they are HIV positive, they can get medicines to keep them well, and stop the virus from spreading.