I believe there are two kinds of people who’ll come across this article, one would be those who’ll read the word HIV in the title and get all nervous and move on to “healthier” topics like nothing happened. The second kind would be the ones who’ll get interested by the presence of that comma in between those two words, and would decide to read on. So, yay!
Now let’s move on to the real news. We happen to celebrate World Aids Day every December 1st, and there’s mostly something new or interesting that pops up in this regards. Or maybe, pops up and goes unnoticed because it’s AIDS. *chi chi*
So, this year something great happened. In a country as huge as ours and a population that is way too large, this seems to be a small step, but it’s great nonetheless. The step has been taken in the district of Buldhana, Maharashtra. About five panchayats have taken the decision that if a man and a woman intend to marry, they have to go through an HIV test first, get a negative on that (because some tests in life should never be positive), and only then, they can marry. And this test is not something the couple can get away with, it’s mandatory.
What people of Buldhana have done is something that our entire country should follow. Possibly in a matter of a year and a half, maybe two (we like taking it slow, you see). But, this can happen. And do not even think of undermining this step, it is huge and necessary. It is something each one of us deserves from the partners we’re going to have sex with for a very, very long time.
Our country has the third highest number of people infected with the HIV virus (2.1 million), and this can not paint a good picture in anyone’s mind. The number goes as high as 35 million in the world, out of which 19 million don’t even know that they are HIV positive. Where do you think our country stands here? Do you want to have HIV or do you want to run away from it for the rest of your life just like you do when anyone even barely mentions its name, or worse has it. And what makes it worse, is that, in case your partner has it, or you have it, then my dear women, you can not have children. Not that you have to live it for your life with the condition without being able to do anything about it, that little thing will too.
Though, the risk is a lot lower if the mother is getting a proper treatment for the HIV and does not breastfeed her child (body fluids, my dear friends), the risk does get higher if she does the opposite of the above statements.
Now, look at our country people. We don’t have enough medicines, we don’t spend enough money on the campaigns, we don’t spread enough awareness. We can casually sleep with an HIV positive person and positively have the same because nobody knows of it and later repent. Therefore, it is important, that the kind of step panchayats of District Buldhana has taken, we all must take at an individual level because we don’t need an authority to compel us to do something good for ourselves and our family. The virus is not a joke. It has always taken lives, and it will continue to, if we’re not aware and if we don’t help the individuals who have been infected by it. It is now the time we learn a bit more than about the movie our favorite stars are going to do next and work for a “healthier” lifestyle. *that pun though*
*Let’s fight HIV, positively!*
Disclaimer: Pahlaj Nihalani is not a part of our editorial board. We can talk about these things.