World AIDS Day

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Vinod C Dixit

1st December is World AIDS Day – an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV. AIDS is a common unity problem that demands a community response. An HIV infected person can live a healthy social life but he has the social obligation of not spreading the disease. I would like to point out that AIDS affects women not only as individuals who are HIV inflected but also in their multiple roles in society and the family, as health care providers. educators, wives, mothers and income providers. It is also clear that the impact of HIV-related diseases among women will, if no action is taken, inevitably worsen the situation everywhere, particularly in the poorer communities.
No doubt, the WHO has issued guidelines on medical procedures to be followed in handling HIV infected people but as women will have to take upon themselves a large proportion of caring for HIV-infected persons and people with AIDS, it is imperative that they are provided with information, skills, knowledge and resources in order for their roles as providers of care to be less taxing, more humane and more effective.
Time has now come when Victims need to be provided with information about the emotional and physical process of HIV diseases or AIDS, the ways in which HIV is transmitted. Educational materials must also be printed to accommodate differences in language, culture and education. The family members should also show willingness to care for a person with AIDS. The Government should take care of counselling, health education, treatment of infected persons, organising reporting of cases and establishment of surveillance centres. The active support of the citizens, voluntary organizations and society is much essential.
—Ahmedabad, India