HIV-AIDS: SCIENCE IS ON THE JOB, LET’S PLAY OUR PART, NO DISCRIMINATION PLEASE

DECEMBER 1, 2014: WORLD AIDS DAY – IN SOLIDARITY

Thoughts on a day that has become the symbolism of our fight against HIV-AIDS – the fight seeds of which were sown 30 years ago.

Thoughts go to our brothers and sisters who are putting a brave front to recollect their lives while fighting the deadliest epidemic of the modern world that has snatched away over 25 million lives from us since its first recorded case in 1984.

Thoughts on a day that symbolizes our efforts, that tells how painstakingly the humankind has been trying to taken on and win the battle against HIV-AIDS, and that also tells how many of us make many lives more miserable and hurt the fight against the epidemic.

Yes, they can beat the odds better if we let them cruise along.

Yes, they can, and in fact they are entitled to, live livelier, complete and for many more years, like you and me, if we let ourselves to tag along them.

They are just like you and me, the perfect normal beings with the elements that define perfection in us, if there has to be some.

They are not ill. They are not inflicted with some disease. Even those in advanced stages of infection, leading to the AIDS stage from the HIV infection, can have a prolonged life with the medication available. With the treatment regime available so far, people affected with HIV-AIDS can live normal life for their entire lifetime, the ‘entirety’ that you and I have.

Then why is the stigma, the social apathy, the discrimination, the hostile attitude?

The people from among us, million have lost their lives so far, millions are still affected with new cases, new infections adding up to the statistics, they are not going to inflict us, they are not going to impose on us any sort of burden that they have been forced to carry. Science tell us. Social science tells us.

All they want is rightfully theirs.

Sharing our lives socially with them is going to make us sick – a maniacal mindset that cripples even doctors in many places – has no scientific and medical sanctity – and we all know it – it is just that we don’t want to believe in.

All they want is the peace and the dignity that we all aspire for. All they want is this stigma to be done away with. All they want is the psychological support to deal with a certain possibility that can take their lives away prematurely if left unattended or if taken carelessly.

After all, it is the common sense that says levels of stress seriously affect the way the body keeps medicines away or affects the way medicines work on us.

And this absence of common sense in us kills scores of HIV infected people much before time. We socially ostracise them. Families break ties. Society becomes hostile. And it breaks lives – psychologically, financially – and then physiologically – that is exacerbated with extreme levels of stress. We are murderers on the job here. We are mercenaries on the prowl.

All they want is all that you and I want – a respect for life and individuality – that we need to give them – we are answerable to them – after countless HIV-AIDS deaths caused due to social stigma – inflicted by us.

Yes, there have been chances. Yes, there are chances. The ongoing meticulous work, allowing the affected people to live healthier and live longer, a normal life span, just like you and me, is real, unlike our misplaced, ill-conceived insecurities that push us to discriminate against our brothers and sisters.

— When they haven’t done anything to push us to do so.

A UNAIDS report says – Serious, even life-threatening exposure to violence, stigma, loss of family, employment and property can and often do result when people are revealed as living with HIV.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/