December 1, 2015

World AIDS Day !

December 1, 2015 was World AIDS Day! It’s a day to spread awareness and communicate hope to all those who are living in fear and facing stigma and discrimination in their family and community. 
As there are lot of myths and misconception about the modes of transmission; stigma and discrimination is still high, despite all the efforts from the government and voluntary organizations.

There still a lot more to do in the area of spreading knowledge and awareness which can only happen when we work collectively joining hands together to bring down the infections. The theme this year 2015 is Getting to zero; end AIDS by 2030. “The time to act is now.

I recall and remember counseling a lady who came to the counseling centre. Saritha (name changed) was found  HIV positive;  she was very angry, upset, and felt cheated by her husband.  When the husband was called for testing; he refused to come, instead fought with saritha; argued and blamed her for the status, stating that it’s her problem and she needs to deal with it;

Saritha was devastated and with great difficulty and courage fought with him and his family, but did not succeed; her husband left her to her fate and moved on with another women. She was thrown out of the house, because she was found HIV positive; and nobody was willing to take her even from her family side. Being an orphan and brought up by the aunt and uncle, she did not know what to do, as she loved children, she chose to continue her pregnancy till the ninth month, unfortunately saritha gave birth to a still born child.

The death of the child caused severe distress…. despite all these problems, she never gave up; she is full of optimism and cheerfulness and visits the ART regularly for medicines. (Anti retroviral Treatment), she visits the counsellor  regularly at the Government hospital.  The last time I saw her, she was full of enthusiasm saying that she wants to move ahead in life, and does not want to live in the past.

I salute saritha for her determination to fight facing discrimination and humiliation only because she is HIV positive, and that too which is not her fault. She works hard as a domestic help and makes a living; there are so many saritha’s who become victims without their faults. when I thought of this lady and the kind of problems she was facing, my problems appeared so small and insignificant.

I appreciated saritha for touching my life, showing me that no matter how broken we are; we can always start afresh, leaving the past behind and focussing on the present, and taking charge of our lives....

"HIV does not make people dangerous to know, so you can shake their hands and give them a hug: Heaven knows they need it." – Princess Diana
So what can we do:
  • Speak about it boldly and spread the message to everyone around you
  • Be part of positive people network
  • Volunteer yourself to be part of the awareness programme in your city
  • Make posters and orient youngsters on prevention of HIV
  • Organize a free testing for youth – you can contact the nearest primary health centre and collaborate with them requesting them for a mobile testing van.
  • Join hands with others in spreading information and knowledge about HIV&AIDS there are plenty of organizations who have the Information and Education materials which are freely available.
  • Be compassionate and do not judge; offer support and encourage the victims to the Government hospitals for counseling and free treatment.
  • Orient yourself and offer yourself to share in the community
  • Write about it; talk about it and even blog about this issue..
I am glad to do my bit, how about you? Do share your ideas to zero HIV
"We live in a completely interdependent world, which simply means we cannot escape each other. How we respond to Aids depends, in part, on whether we understand this interdependence. It is not someone else's problem. This is everybody's problem." – Bill Clinton

May this post  inspire you !


  1. Thank you for this post Genevive ... it's true it still holds a stigma for people here in South Africa. Sadly women between ages of 10 and 19 are contracting it at an alarming rate.

    Saritha is a role model ... bless her heart for everything that she stands for. She is fortunate to have you as counsellor. Please give her my very best wishes.

    1. Agree with you Susan, more than disease, the stigma and discrimination kills people. Also the highest number of infections are in the age group of 14-24 which means we are losing out on young people... true we need to help our youngsters to fight back and deal with it pro actively... appreciate you for your kind words ..

  2. Hi G Angela! Thank you for sharing this empowering story about a women with AIDS. In spite of such a terrible experience it sounds like she is moving ahead with her life and showing others what is possible. I'm also glad to hear that you and others are able to offer her help and support and she finds her new way. Yes, AIDS is a very difficult thing but I too have been privileged to know others who have managed to live with the disease. May the cure be found as expected and everyone affected find the help and support they need. ~Kathy

    1. Nice to hear from you Kathy; saritha is diagnosed with HIV+ve and it will take a lot of time before it becomes AIDS. (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) Now it depends on saritha as to how well she will adhere to the ART medicines, proper nutrition, positive thinking and meaningful living, to that extent she can be healthy, only when she neglects herself, then she will be affected with a group of diseases at the same time, which will become AIDS leading her to die. Many us think HIV means AIDS. HIV is just a virus,if it enters our body, destroys the immune system for which medicines are available and AIDS is the last stage of the virus attacking the person with a group of disease... thanks for being here .. research is on and hope there will be a cure for this issue


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