“Hate the disease, but not the diseased!”
Chandigarh, November 29, 2022:
All the diseases, whether mild or fatal can be controlled by adhering to some precautions, guidance and our will power. World AIDS Day is organised every year on First of December throughout the world to imbibe confidence and will power for pople living with HIV so that they fight against this menace with a brave heart. It is also organised every year to commemorate those who have left this world due to AIDS related severities. It was founded in 1988 that was the first ever global health day.
The credit for World AIDS Day goes to James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter who got this idea in August 1987. They approached Jonathan Mann who liked the concept, gave it a green signal and it was decided to observe World AIDS Day on First of December every year. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (Human Immuno Deficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) focused its operation in 1996 with its planning and promotion. The themes of this day are used the year round in international ways and endeavours to concentrate such themes in other major global events. That is why this day is an International UN Sponsored Observance and it is one of the eleven official global public health campaigns earmarked by the W.H.O.
An internationally acclaimed book ‘Speaking of How to Prevent Common Diseases’ by Dr. Ajit Singh Puri, M.D. D.Sc. (Honoris Causa), FICP, FCAI, FICA with a foreword by Lord Walton of Detchant TD, MA, MD, D.Sc, FRCP, contains an important chapter on AIDS which contains eye-opening contents about AIDS and carries immense value and importance.
“In AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) which is currently rampant in the world, as a result of infection by the virus called human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the body’s defence mechanism/resistance becomes so low that the disease eventually proves fatal…. It is more common in heterosexual cases where the chances of injury are more.”
According to Dr. Ajit Singh Puri, the disease can be transmitted through infected blood transfusion and with contaminated needles and syringes, infected shaving blade, infected mother during pregnancy, as a result of deep kissing when both partners have bleeding gums, mouth ulcers or sores and one of them is suffering from AIDS. AIDS can involve any system of the body. Its diagnosis should be confirmed by the enzyme-linked immunosorben assay (ELISA) blood test and if this test is found positive, it should be further confirmed by the Western Blot Test.
AIDS can be avoided with some preventive measures like avoiding sex with suspected person, using sterilised needles and syringes, blood testing for HIV before blood transfusion etc. Due to the valuable contents of the book, it was launched and appreciated by His Highness Shri Krishan Kant Ji, then Vice President of India.
World AIDS Day is important which reminds the people to create alertness and sensibility among the people, fight prejudice and teach the people about this disease with fellow-feeling every year. World AIDS Day focuses on a theme and for the current year, it is Equalize.
United Nations on Acquired Immune Disease Syndrome is making serious endeavours with earnestness to improve and mitigate the challenges so that the people become alert, careful and health-conscious which include awareness-creating activities among the people around the world and many people wear the red ribbon which is are universal symbol of awareness and moral support for HIV sufferers. Groups of people living with HIV and other organisations associated with the AIDS show support for the communities they serve and raise funds. There is a need on the part of the governments for increased funding, there is a need to put an end to stigma and discrimination; there is a need to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV.
The governments working globally to fight HIV should work with solidarity and shared responsibility to put an end to this pandemic. There is a need to put our heads together for HIV prevention and fast-track methods to end AIDS. There is a time to act now for sharing the challenges, community commitment and taking care of each other. Not only World AIDS Day but all the days should be used as an opportunity for public and private partners to encourage progress in AIDS prevention and its treatment and care around the globe.
Author: Dr. Jaswant Singh Puri, Doctor of Letters (HonorisCausa) ,Social Activist, Punjab Rattan, Member, Dewan Family, Erstwhile Princely State of Patiala (Author of the article ‘Royal City of Patiala – A Gapshap’)