This year's theme is Universal Access and Human Rights.
Every year it amazes me how much this particular day strikes me in the deepest chambers of the heart. Some wounds do not heal- if anything they acquire layers. This year, this past month, I had to hold a dear, dear friend as she grieved for a beloved relative whom she had nurtured through thick and thin, bullied into eating, kept faith with and visited constantly. He broke her heart because she wasn't there to hold him when he died. I had never seen her cry before, in so many rich and complex years of knowing each other.
African women are strong. Because, well, what the hell else is there to be? But some things, we need help with. Wear the condom. Use your ARVs. Go to the antenatal clinic, embrace the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) protocols. March for equal rights and universal access. Tell your truth. But please. Please, don't make us watch and hold you and then lose you day by day. No one should have to be quite that strong.