HIV/AIDS is affecting the democratic process in Namibia, according to a report by the Namibian Institute for Democracy and the Institute for Democracy in South Africa, VOA News reports.
According to the report, HIV/AIDS is reducing the number of people who vote in elections, thus affecting the electoral process.
In addition, the virus is affecting the number of people who participate in civic programs. “(Political decision makers) should more clearly set leadership examples by talking openly about their own status; only one parliamentarian in Namibia has revealed his own status up till now, and only two parliamentarians are talking about how HIV/AIDS has affected their own families,” Justine Hunter, project manager for the Public Dialog Center at NID, said.
According to Hunter, NID has recommended that the Namibian Ministry of Home Affairs and Migration and the Electoral Commission cooperate to keep voters informed and that messages to reduce HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination should be incorporated into future campaigns (Mallard, VOA News, 8/26).
Revision date: July 3, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD