Thu 1 Dec 2011
A few days back I read in the newspapers that a survey shows that the number of cases of HIV – AIDS has gone down by 50% in Mumbai. I am not surprised. See what awareness can do! There has been a blitzkrieg of advertisements and documentaries on AIDs. Not only by the government but also by NGOs and individuals like me who have made it a mission to spread the good word about preventive health.
It is every citizen’s duty, not only to protect themselves and their families from harm but also to take care of everyone we come in contact with. A healthy society translates into a safe society for us and our loved ones to move in.
Sometime back there was an infotainment clip which starred the veteran actor Ms. Shabana Azmi. It showed her visiting a ward of children affected by HIV. She hugged a child and says “HIV does not spread by hugging and touching; only love does!”
This is the other side of HIV stigma; wherein the persons affected are shunned by society! That is not right either! There are specific ways in which this condition spreads and they are:
• Sex with someone affected by HIV
• From an affected mother to the child in her womb
• By blood transfusion of HIV +ve blood
If precaution is taken in these areas then it is safe to socialize with HIV +ve persons.
Why do I say this? Let me explain…
There is a legend about an African tribe. When these tribal wish to clear a forest area to plant crop and they need to fell trees; they don’t cut them. All of them gather around the tree and start abusing and spewing hateful words. The tree dies within a few days! If hatred and abuse can have this effect on trees what will protect humans from this kind of behavior? The same way humans will also wilt, like flowers in harsh weather.
If AIDS won’t kill the persons suffering from it, our hatred will! Be compassionate. Taking care of the person or at least being kind and understanding will go a long way towards healing them!
When you reach out to a person with compassion and love not only do you heal them but you also heal yourself and generate your own spiritual growth.
Be healthy and happy!