World Social Forum: Small Ways to Solve Big Problems
January 24, 2007
The Jan. 20-25 World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya, has as its theme "Peoples' struggles, peoples' alternatives." More than 150,000 people from around the world have gathered at WSF, which aims to help end global poverty. In Uhuru Park, following a march from the Kibera slum where 700,000 residents live, HIV/AIDS dominated speeches.
"The key thing to do in managing this problem is prevention because prevention is better than" HIV treatment, said Kenneth Kuanda, former Zambian president. "We must remember voluntary counseling and testing." "Checking one's status and talking openly about it will reduce stigma," he said. "I am not telling you what I have not done," Kuanda said, referring to his test in 2002 and openly speaking about HIV/AIDS after losing his son to the disease.
At the park, Brazilian poet and law professor Ramos Filho handed out "poetic condoms," in which poems written on condoms are used to inform people about HIV/AIDS risks. Filho said he created the condoms in response to an increase in HIV/AIDS in his country: "The high cases were an alert that something needed to be done urgently." The poetic condoms have been distributed across Brazil, he said.
The forum is an annual meeting of social activists seeking to address the problems facing poor people. It provides a counterpoint to the World Economic Forum, the annual meeting of rich business and political elites held in Davos, Switzerland.
Inter Press Service
01.21.07; Joyce Mulama
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.