“The African way? Looking after traces in the jungle of Westernized strategies of prevention and treatment”.
This is the title of the opening talk I have to deliver coming Friday in Hamburg for the 3rd Hamburg Strategic Forum on HIV. And it is a tough one for me, then except me the participants are all connected to the medical field, be it as doctors, researchers or in the pharmaceutical field. What do they expect from me as a priest? O Lord, such a challenge can make one nervous, makes me nervous. On the other hand I love to be challenged and I am looking forward to meet new people and learn new information about the pandemic and the challenges in Germany.
So I am still contemplating and fine tuning the talk while there is enough time to do so. Thursday the plane will bring me via Istanbul to Hamburg for the two days of the gathering. I am awaiting this Forum with quite some anticipation and hope, the traces of African ways, I have found and tracked down in the last days might help to understand the African situation and further the cooperation between Germany and South Africa.
The gathering also includes a discussion about church, politics and the health systems in certain countries – I find it remarkable and exciting to include those questions and to make clear, that turning around the tide of HIV and AIDS requires all quarters of society – it is much more than a medical problem.