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Men as Caregivers in the Context of HIV and AIDS: Advocacy Issues

Men in the world of care giving

It is alleged, averagely that men approach caregiving as work or duty. Men in caregiving are prone to feel isolated. They can not speak freely about their work due to perceived stigma for being involved in work conventionally not meant for them. Men in caregiving work are susceptible to finding it difficult to juggling responsibilities. Men as human beings, in the world of caregiving are inclined it is supposed to experience exhaustion. It is a great challenge for men, it is assumed to take care of their spouses and parents.

But all this must change. Men must be prepared to get used to caregiving and enjoy caring. Men must be deeply involved in caregiving and must not feel predisposed to cultural and historical stereotyping which does not help humans, men and women to take care of one another. Caring for spouses and parents when they are ill should be an experience we know is inevitable and get prepared to do it beginning as early as now and today. One of the ways in which men as caregivers can get involved is by doing lobbying and advocacy activities in the following areas:

Lobbying and Advocacy Activities for Men as Caregivers

  • Advocacy for communities’ peaceful core-existence ” … it is only in conditions of peace and stability that development challenges such as HIV/AIDS and providing the needs of the poor and vulnerable especially women, children and PLWHA could be tackled effectively” (Permanent Mission of Ghana to United Nations, sa). [Implement the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) Social Cohesion Methodologies in Communities with special inclusion of men]
  • Advocacy for Gender Equality in the Context of HIV and AIDS [Educate men on gender equality involving, SOFIA, Commission for Gender Equality, School of Religion and Theology, School of Politics, Seminaries and men from the ecumenical movement].
  • “Advocacy in communities to change the perception that women are better caregivers than men” [NMF methodologies in communities]
  • “Intensify advocacy to families for equal sharing of responsibilities and chores in the context of HIV and AIDS. ” [NMF methodologies in communities]
  • Advocacy for women economic empowerment [cause access to economic empowerment training and programmes]
  • Advocacy for the creation of space for treatment education for men as caregivers [give treatment education classes]
  • Advocacy for encouraging men as treatment advocates and treatment counselors [practice treatment advocacy and counseling where it is needed]
  • Advocacy for building networks of men’s organisations involved in caregiving [find data base and information about other organisations in caregiving business and ask for partnerships and networking]
  • Advocacy for Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV and AIDS (GIPA) in health related decision making [bodies] at community, regional and provincial level in KZN [raise the point with the office of the premier’s health unit and the health department whenever the opportunity avails]
  • Advocacy for networking health systems and organisations, people and actions whose primary interest is to promote, restore or maintain health (jiasociety.org) [find data base and information about other organisations in caregiving business and ask for partnerships and networking]
  • Advocacy for PLWHA to be in medical schools and stay employed in the health sector [raise the point with the office of the premier’s health unit and the health department whenever the opportunity avails]
  • Advocacy for promotion of PLWHA in senior and strategic positions in the health sector institutions [raise the matter with authorities in the health sector]
    • Advocacy for basic health services for sex workers, M2M, transgender people, drug users and lesbians [raise the matter with authorities in the health sector]
    • Advocacy for integrated health services to support PLWHA, TB, Malaria, sexually transmitted infections, sexual and reproductive health, mental health and HIV services (jiasociety.org) [raise the matter with authorities in the health sector]

■Advocacy for decriminalization of HIV transmission for women living with HIV and AIDS choosing to have children [challenge the health sector, ministry of health and justice]

  • Advocacy for psychological support for PLWHA focused on people suffering from depression and related emotional illnesses [raise the matter with authorities in the health sector]
    • Advocacy for Home Base Care structures rooted in organised community and ecumenical formations [raise the matter with authorities in the health sector]
  • Advocacy for increased prevention strategies [raise the matter with authorities in the health sector]
  • Advocacy for the central and lead involvement of PLWHA in all matters concerning strategies in the HIV and AIDS work [challenge organisations dealing with PLWHA]
  • Advocacy for networking ‘support groups’ within KZNCC, KZNCAN, the health sector and organisations working in the arena of HIV and AIDS [consult related organisations and sources of information]
  • Advocacy for the establishment of holistic and comprehensive wellness centres [raise the matter with authorities in the health sector]
  • Advocacy for greater investment in the lives of PLWHA [challenge organisations dealing with PLWHA and government departments]