Sunday, December 3, 2006

Am I Distant from Society

AIDS…One of the most dreaded acronym of recent times... What does it actually stand for?

Most of us know it as “Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome”… But, ask the victims, and they might probably say it stands for Am I Distant from Society!!!

How often have you not read reports or seen incidents of a Tom Hanks (in Philadelphia) or a Tinu Hari being thrown out of work just because he has fallen into the deadly grasp of this disease… It is more heart-breaking to see children being outcast from schools & from play areas, just because they are innocent carriers, through none of their faults…

Most of us, educated people know that Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) spreads mainly through unprotected sexual activity & sharing of body fluids, as in Blood transfusion, sharing of infected needles & during child birth from mother to child… It has been proved time-and-again that casual touch etc can’t cause the infection… But, lots of people are not willing to accept it… They say, “You tell today there is no chance of infection through touch & after a big time research, you’ll say it can also be spread through touch… Where will we be left, then??”

Although, the numbers always suggested that so many millions are infected with the virus & some million more are suffering from AIDS, I dint realize the severity of the situation until I went to the hospital wards & OPD as part of my postings… More than 30 % of the patients I have seen are HIV positive!!! And in some of the hospitals, there is a separate “Retroviral section” for intensive care of these people, who come in with all sorts of opportunistic infections.

So, what can we do to improve the quality of life of these people, some of whom don’t have too much life left in front of them by the time they are diagnosed…?

The best way is to educate the masses about the disease as such & also about the ways by which they can & cannot be spread… For those who have already boarded the HIV train, the best we can try to do is to stop them from passing on this deadly virus to others… apart from the usual safe sex & sex with only one partner, it’ll be wise to advise them against having children who are bound to be born fighting against the virus only to be dead even before they know what they are suffering from…

Spread the message, not the virus.

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