Friday, February 23, 2007

Be positive

-By Swetha Amit

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or AIDS is the most DEADLY dreaded word which is tagged with a social stigma. People want to run a mile away from such infected patients who are not only shunned but also looked down upon. It is estimated that there will be about 9-10 million individuals afflicted with this condition.

It is true that some people contract it because of multiple partners and many others are innocent victims due to ignorance. Women and children fall under this category. It is disheartening to see them being treated as outcasts; they suffer from ignominy and shame for no fault on their part.


A clinical definition is that its collection of symptoms and infections in humans resulting from the specific damage to the immune system caused by the human immune deficiency virus (HIV).This transmission can come in the form of anal, vaginal or oral sex, blood transfusion, contaminated hypodermic needles, exchange between mother and baby during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding, or other exposure to one of the above bodily fluids.

This dreaded disease has no cure and results in costing more than millions of lives across the globe. A spread of awareness through various educational mediums is bound to throw more light into this darkness plunged area. This will help in improving knowledge with regard to measures for protected sex and other methods that will hold back this dreaded enemy creeping into our healthy systems. India and other remote parts are especially in need of this learning method, as many are found to be lacking in information in this department.

Certain preventive measures include:

Promoting sex education in all educational institutions in the rural and urban areas.

Improving the screening for and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Improvement in the hygiene factors in the surrounding environments. Organization of several campaigns to de-stigmatize AIDS which would reduce the public hysteria about this condition and help them gain awareness and more knowledge.

Encouraging interventions, such as massage therapy, music therapy, yoga, spiritual care, homeopathy, Indian ayurvedic medicine, light therapy and many other methods, will help in relaxing and soothing the agitated minds of the affected.



Ignorance of these aspects has increased the number by millions as several HIV patients are traumatized with their conditions. It is indeed a sad plight to watch such individuals go through turmoil physically, socially and psychologically. Counseling such patients indeed takes a toll on the counselor as it proves to be a challenging task. Society due to misconceptions about this condition being contagious, often outcast and discard such patients even if the victim happens to belong to the same family. Its irony to see that, when such people need the utmost love and care at this time are treated as untouchables. In spite of several films made on this subject, the audiences still remain stoic in their attitudes towards their fellow humans.



Is it not enough that they are undergoing through enough turbulence? Is it not our duty as human beings to show a little consideration and HUMANITY?? Can’t we once place ourselves in their shoes to actually realize how it feels that our days are numbered and one loses the pleasure to living this beautiful life? Because of unclean habits and carelessness, one ends up throwing their lives away for good. An eternal separation from their loved ones is enough to cause a dent in ones mind. Can’t we not give them sympathy, affection and care in their last few days?


AIDS patients needn’t be treated as outcasts. They needn’t bow their heads in shame. They are as ‘NORMAL’ as we are except that their life span is shortened. They needn’t be subject to shun and spite. All they need is love and care. Sadly; even the educated class in spite of being knowledgeable refuses to bring out their humane nature in such critical circumstances.


And why only on Dec 1st, on world AIDS day, why not tell ourselves and everyday that they have a right to live as much as we do. In fact more as, “life is short so why not make them enjoy the most of it in that little time.” Let us spread the message across, more importantly, "Prevention is better than suffering".
Written for www.msn.co.in

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