AIDS, do we know it?

Yesterday, the 1st of December was World AIDS day. A disease which happened to other people. That may be true but, it is not long before it happened to someone we knew. I will tell you why?

In India, it is estimated that 57 lakh people are affected by the disease but hardly 1,25,000 people know, they have the disease. That's 2% of the population. That it not the case with most of the common diseases known to man, and believe me AIDS does come in the domain of known diseases. And still we don't discuss the subject. Our social morality comes in the way.

Much effort has recently been undertaken to bring the subject of AIDS to the common man through mass media. But the people how, I think are most likely to be affected by the disease are those who are not in touch with the mainstream media's because they may be illiterate or they they may be so busy to know about it until it happens to them. Again, our mainstream media has been aware of the problem and has been focusing on it, but with out substantial breakthroughs.

It all now boils down to the people who care, the NGOs and other groups who are willing to work in the midst of people who have been identified to be most likely prey for the disease. For example, most women who are affected by AIDS are mostly monogamous (read single partner) and account for 38 percent of those infected. It comes down to the fact that their spouses are unaware of the disease they are carrying and also take into the fact that the statistics are based on the data of infected people who comprise only 2 percent of the estimated affected individuals. What I mean to say is that the data may be skewed and only when an worthwhile percentage of data has been recorded and analyzed, only then we can traced the true reach the disease has achieved.

So, we now come to the larger question of general health care in the country. Until substantial effort and money flows in to provide instant and cheap healthcare, any disease let alone AIDS to going to cast a dying shadow on the population of the country and with it on the future we are so much betting upon.


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