Today is World AIDS Day!
World AIDS Day was established by WHO in 1988. This day provides governments, national AIDS programs, faith organizations, community organizations, and individuals with an opportunity to raise awareness and focus attention on the global AIDS epidemic.
Red ribbon is International symbol of HIV and AIDS awareness. We are flaunting one in this post.
As per UN estimations, 5.7 million of 33.2 HIV-infected people worldwide reside in India. Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka are states with highest number of HIV positive cases. Andhra Pradesh is planning to make a new law that makes it compulsory for the couples to take HIV test before marriage.
India is largest producer of cheap ARVs (antiretroviral drugs) that are used in AIDS treatment. Yet most people in India can not afford it. Sections of society most affected with AIDS in India are sex workers, truck drivers, gays, and injecting drug users. Yet this disease is not confined to them.
What We can do?
The slogan for 2007 World AIDS Day is “Take the Lead. Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise.” Be part of those who are building better tomorrow.
Here is a mini guide about what we can do to stop AIDS menace in India:
1. Indulge in safe sex always. Pass the awareness around.
2. Sex education is banned in several states. Campaign to reinstate sex education in schools. This is important considering the number of children who get afflicted by AIDS every year indulging in unsafe sex.
3. Fight not only AIDS, but also the stigma attached with the disease. Most people suffer AIDS in silence due to the fear of being shunned in society. Some of them are denied their right to live with dignity due to their AIDS infection.
4. Pass on the awareness that medicines are now available that prevent transfer of AIDS infection from pregnant mothers to their children. Most women do not request the medicine, even after treatment to prevent mother-to-child-transmission because of the stigma attached with the disease.
5. Join Stop AIDS in children campaign. Every year 330, 000 children die of AIDS. Lets take steps to save them. Again this is possible by stopping mother-to-child-transmission of infection.
I also write at Visceral Observations.