Eliminating the Social Stigma is the First Step in the fight against HIV

The extended family of Pooja (identity changed) deserted her in an orphanage home in India when she was five years old as she is HIV infected by birth. Her family members don’t want to run the risk of becoming social outcasts as a result of the child hence they thought of getting rid of her forever. The child at present in her adolescent age is fighting it bravely as she has learned to live with it. She owes that she wants to demonstrate to the world that HIV affected are also great achievers by electing to civil services.  Although she could not win the family support, she was not the lone sufferer as many other children and adolescent in the home have also joined the fight against HIV collectively and they are determined to overcome it.

fight against HIV21 year old Niyomee of Nigeria inherited HIV from her parents who did not let her know about it until she was 12 years old.  On joining a youth supporting group in her community, she heard about it for the first time and she was told that HIV can be transmitted through sexual intercourse alone. On realizing her status, she blamed her mother for health condition. However, her mother and the entire youth group in the community stood by her and helped her to get out of the feeling that she is a loser. At a time when there is no complete cure for HIV et, these patients can be trained well to cope with the stress, trauma and emerge as winners against the social discrimination.

The world HIV awareness day was observed on 1st December globally to create awareness on this communicable, infectious disease, which can be prevented but cannot be cured completely. Despite the euphoric and hectic activity on HIV/AIDS certain thing remained unanswered for ages. No doubt, the HIV rates are declining globally. Having said this, the communities are not completely free from the HIV menace. According to the UNAIDS, 36.7 million individuals are living with HIV/AIDS, in which 2.1 million of them were children by 2016. An estimated 1.8 million new cases are added to the list every year is causing serious concern.  At least 5000 new cases are added every day is a matter of serious concern for the policy makers and healthcare providers.

Apart from seeking the medical care, families, communities, activist groups and NGOs should stand by the side of HIV infected to communicate strongly and clearly that mere socialization wouldn’t infect you with HIV. Lets us speak loud and clear that HIV affected deserves parental caring and descent living.