Friday, December 01, 2006

Is it not our responsibility?

I happened to listen to an AIDS patient at a training program for teachers conducted by YMCA last week. He was a young man, thirty years old, and, getting over his own agony of being diagnosed as a victim of a dreaded disease, had come forward to warn others about the prevalence of the disease in our society. Having heard that we were teachers dealing with teenagers he had agreed to share his experience and expressed hope that the students whom we dealt with would be counseled by us and they would in turn spread the message among their peer group.

This was not the first time that we had attended a program on AIDS awareness nor were we ignorant about the epidemic levels it is soon expected to reach. What impressed me was the positive attitude of the young man. He admitted to have had a physical relationship with his girl friend in Mumbai and wasn’t too sure about her loyalty to him. He was initially upset and angry with her for being the cause of his anguish but later took it upon himself to ring up and warn her about the possibility of her being a carrier of the undetected virus and to ask her to get herself tested. He also asked his brother now in Mumbai to be careful citing his own example.

It is not very easy to talk to one’s grown up children about the common causes of HIV infection. We tend to imagine that this is someone else’s problem and our sympathies are with the victims. ‘But AIDS in my own family?? Oh! No!! Impossible’. I wish it were impossible. Alas! It is not. It is time for responsible citizens of India to take it upon them to educate the youngsters of today on the circumstances that lead to HIV infection and offer counsel without being judgmental.

The young man mentioned above was well informed about the disease and yet fell victim to it. He was in no way a ‘high risk’ candidate.But he was not spared. We have so many others like him who are National Treasures. Can we afford to let them waste their lives? More and more of our youngsters are leaving home and settling down in unknown places for their studies or career. They are an emotionally vulnerable group and easy targets. All victims may not be positive thinkers. Some may become sadistic and spiteful. Let us make it our responsibility to do our bit to spread awareness among our children. 1st December is WORLD AIDS DAY. Why don’t we all join hands for a good cause?

24 comments:

Monika said...

good post. even i wrote a small one about world aids day on 1st dec. AIDS is something we surely need to take up and each one responsible for themselves

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Hip Grandma said...

monika:looks as if this topic is not comfortably discussed and has not drawn responses.People like us should still continue.

starry nights said...

I think everyone should be made aware of Aids and understand that it can happen to anyone rich and poor alike.Public awareness is the key.

Usha said...

Yes, the topic is still considered taboo even among the educated. We need to understand that no topic is taboo and they should all be discussed in a responsible and intelligible manner with the children so that they are aware of what dangers the world is filled with and how to be armed against them.

Something to Say said...

A friend mentioned to me a while ago - that they attended the marriage of a couple. The strange thing (her words) was tha instead of matching horoscopes - the groom's father insisted on doing an AIDS test on both groom and bride. If both cleared, the marriage would happen.
I wonder if this is true - and if it is - so many innocent men and women's lives would be saved by this action!
Dont you think?

Something to Say said...
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serendipity said...

I find your writing so nice , and it sounds so like my mom's that I feel like giving you a big hug !!
:) u write so well gmom :)

Hip Grandma said...

Lalitha:You are right and it is the duty of all responsible citizens to do their bit.

Usha:yeah!and isn't it sad?European countries have achieved zero transmission and here we shy from spreading awareness.Let us all do our bit.

something to say:If what your friend said is true I'd be the first one to support the move.If it is not I'd strive to make it happen.

serendipity:Thanks!I'm glad you see your mom in me.Give her a handshake from me.

Anonymous said...
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Hip Grandma said...
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Anonymous said...

Mother dear, it's easy to write these things on a blog, but I fail to remember any such conversation when the three of us were growing up. Not finding fault or anything, but I'm just sayin' :)

Rajitha said...

HIV/AIDS has been a killer epidemic and all the recent reports are crying out loud that AIDS is here to stay - the existent cures have definitely improved life span and current research looks promising but we have a long way to go before we completely eradicate this disease.

artnavy said...

Checking for Aids is a good idea pre marriage.

btw no posts in a long time

Hip Grandma said...

anon:son, AIDS was not such a threat when you children were growing up or at least I did not perceive it as such.Your responsibility towards society is greater than mine.Do your bit.

rajitha:You are right and the good thing is that people are willing to talk.

artnavy:It should be made imperative.Had been out of station.hence the silence.

NZ said...

Excellent post HGM. It scares me to death when someone close or a family member undergoes a surgery and would need a Blood Transfusion. I know it will be tested at blood banks but you just pray that it didn't get mixed-up with other nontested ones or if the person did the tests correctly or double checked it or not. LAst time my dad needed blood, I insisted that the family members with matching blood group would donate it, he still needed some platelets which had to come from the blood bank - it was scary.

passerby55 said...

Hello Preeta,

I heard about this case. The child got aids, and was tested positive.Both, his parents didn't have it.

It seems he had eaten bhelpuri at the road side hawker who had aids, while chopping onions or so, he cut his finger, the blood got mixed with the bhel the child ate that day. Now, is this possible i wonder?

Srijith Unni said...

Hi Hip Grandma,

It`s been such a long long time, since I dropped in.. I haven`t really been able to catch up as vigorously as I would have wanted. I`m sorry about that..!

Such an important post, this one.. AIDS awareness is seriously a very important issue. I believe it is high time, we had it right from school level. It will safeguard the next generation.!

With Best Regards,
Srijith.

GettingThereNow said...

Just started coming here recently. Thought-provoking posts (referring to this one and the last one - Living Fossil. I am a young, working mother :D)

One question - why get young people tested for AIDS just before marriage? If they have been sexually active before then, we are just acting after the fact - they might ALREADY have AIDS. Why not teach them to be careful and sexually responsible (use condoms, take precautions, exercise caution and better still - abstain) BEFORE they become sexually active? Inform them about AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases before they even think of starting. As a mom, I know it is going to be the most difficult conversation I will have with my daughter, but I am going to try my best to educate her. I am trying to keep the communication lines open now to get access later. I don't know if it is wise to assume that our kids will abstain from sex before marriage and not do anything until it is time for them to get married. Just my two cents...

Monika said...

hip hop grandmom,
i hope u don't mind if i reply to some of the comments on this post.just couldn't resist as this is one topic i have been doing some work in the past.

@passerby55,
that's hoax and its available on the net, AIDS or HIV can't be passed like that and that's the problem there is just no awareness on this issue and most of us tend to beleive hear say
please read the following link
http://www.hoax-slayer.com/aids-burger.html

everyone else who has commented on the pre-marital AIDS test a law has been placed in house to make it mandatory and BTW the HIV test at preganancy has been made compulsory at all big hospitals.

@gettingthernow,
i agree with u that the education is needed for them but inspite of that if someone commits a blunder the test will just save some lives...

Monika said...

just wrote a small piece on info on HIV and AIDS please go thru if u get time

http://monikamanchanda15.blogspot.com/2006/12/some-info-on-hiv-and-aids.html

Hip Grandma said...

nz:you are right.The future is indeed scary

passerby:It is not possible to get AIDS that way.Please read Moniha's post on the subject.

Srijith:I haven't been regular myself.I now have a new comp.things should improve.

gettingthere:Let us not presume or assume anything.We should be there to help our children when they need us.

monyka:feel free to go ahead.you are welcome

GettingThereNow said...

Monika, HipHopGmom: I guess I didn't convey one thing well - I didn't mean we shouldn't conduct these tests before a person gets married. I meant we should also take the other steps in addition to it.

Hip Grandma said...

gettingthere:I got your view right.It needs to be discussed in more detail.will do it soon.