The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Thursday, 29 November 2012


Though there are many more silent killers than the HIV/AIDS, the social stigma attached with this viral epidemic makes it a killer in the real sense. Though not curable yet, the advances in the health science with more evolved antiretroviral therapy has made life easier for millions of the HIV-positive people across the world so much so that they can now maintain even the sexual contact with their partners with proper precautions.

“Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero deaths from AIDS-related illness. Zero discrimination” – is the theme of this World AIDS Day on December 1. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the goal to bring 15 million HIV-infected people under the treatment regime of the antiretroviral drugs by 2015, though a tough assignment, looks within reach now given the latest global statistics.

Reports say HIV and AIDS cases are witnessing a decline globally. According to the WHO data, 2011 saw 700,000 fewer infections than ten years ago with 2.5 million new cases and had 600,000 fewer deaths than seven years ago with the figure touching 1.7 million.

HIV/AIDS treatment and further research has always been a politically sensitive issue as the current treatment regime and the further research both are highly expensive and spread of the HIV infected people in many low-income (69 per cent of the HIV infected are living in Sub-Saharan countries) and developing countries only exacerbates the problem. Midst the due-diligence of the global geo-economic concerns, these countries look for support of the developed world economies and global institutions like the UN or the WHO to meet with the required treatment norms.

The good thing is, in spite of the all the politicking and global geopolitical game over the funding issue, the progress is trickling down.

Up from 0.4 million people in low- and middle-income countries accessing the treatment in 2003, the figure has seen an impressive jump to 8 million such people now. In words of Dr Gottfried Hirnschall, Director of the World Health Organization’s HIV Department, “Many countries are facing economic difficulties, yet most are managing to continue expansion of access to antiretroviral medicines”.

But the equally bugging problem is the mindset change that must see a simultaneous evolutionary curve as the related health-science advances to achieve some significant development in the real terms.

The 2011 World AIDS Day theme completes with ‘Zero Discrimination’ tag but ‘Getting to Zero’ is not possible without effectively handling the social stigma attached with the HIV/AIDS. ‘Confidentiality’ of the HIV-infected person and the treatment he is getting is one of the five key components or the ‘5 Cs’ as defined by the WHO, ‘Consent’, ‘Counselling’, ‘Correct test results’ and ‘Connection/linkage to prevention, care and treatment’ being the others.

The sole reason behind this ‘C’ of confidentiality is the social stigma attached. Apart from the virus and financial problems, the social apathy, too, kills many more HIV-infected people.

Like every other health problem, if the HIV-infected people, too, are taken into the mainstream and given a holistic environment of medical and emotional care, every HIV target would be much easier to scale and achieve.  Countries across the world need to plan and think large scale social interventions and mobilizations and now is the time. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -