Living with HIV/AIDS

AIDS is a dangerous disease no doubt but more than that it is a dreaded disease. Due to the impression HIV and AIDS have in the public, worry and panic on positive diagnosis are not unnatural. Most of the affected persons in particular regions of the world try to hide the disease and secretly start looking for information and treatment taxing their nerves too much. They do so for fear of negative reaction from the society in general and near ones in particular as if being HIV positive was a crime. So there are two parts of the education that need to be imparted, one for the affected person and the other for the people around him.

If you are infected by HIV, the first thing you need to do is to face the reality and try to understand that AIDS is not the only dangerous disease in the world. There are many, many other diseases of which persons of all ages keep dying every day. When there was no AIDS, people died even then. If AIDS becomes treatable, this planet would not become heaven and death would not disappear from here. It will remain as it is. The phenomenon of life and death will continue as long as the planet exists. Those who have no AIDS do not live forever; No one can. If you can understand this, you should stop worrying yourself beyond proportion. In fact your worries should automatically fall to the minimum.

By highlighting this point I do not mean to imply that one should not care about prevention and treatment of AIDS or any other disease. Health must be taken care of but getting worried and looking after the health are two different things. AIDS is not a disease that would develop overnight and quickly drive a person to grave. It takes lot of time before the infection develops in to AIDS. Even if there is no treatment for it, if you can manage it correctly without losing your nerves, you can continue for a long, long time. There are persons who live with AIDS for decades, why can’t you? You do not have to hide the disease, frighten yourself and start believing that AIDS is going to kill you soon. The disease would not disappear by hiding. You do not have to feel like a criminal. No one falls sick by will and by the way, you can get infected by HIV even without your own fault like no one asks for asthma, migraine, heart diseases, arthritis or diseases like that. What you need to do is to learn to manage the disease and have it treated as much as you can but without panic. If you don’t understand this, AIDS may not pull you down but the panic will.

Those who are responsible to educate the people need to be more active and productive. People must be genuinely and continuously educated on how to prevent the infection and the management if they are already infected. People must also be taught how to behave with the infected persons. With all the efforts made in this direction, the results are not all that encouraging yet. Even now many people ask, "Can I get HIV by shaking hands with infected person?" If this is the state, one could ask where has that education gone? Who has been educated? Where has all that money been spent? All of us keep hearing since the beginning of the epidemic that progress has been made in HIV treatments but where is it? Where can a person get cured effectively? The fact is that fear of this disease has been blown out of proportion frightening the masses unnecessarily to make the ground more fertile to accrue benefits. Education on prevention of AIDS is necessary no doubt but it is not necessary to scare the people to the extent it is being done.

So, if you possibly can, learn about the disease and manage it in the manner that suits you the best. It is your life and your health. Continue your treatment, do the best you can but stop scaring yourself. Be brave and learn to live a full life.