Officially, HIV turned 32 today
but the fight to control the single largest killer of the mankind in the
contemporary history through its pathological and sociological killing effects
is yet to see a pathbreaking breakthrough.
Though, the science of HIV-AIDS
has witnessed a regular improvement in the treatment regime over the years
reducing the new cases of infection, delaying the transformation of virus from
HIV to AIDS stage in the infected persons, even having the rare instances of
reports saying of HIV cure like the world debated this year the case of a
As reported, a Mississippi baby, who was HIV infected from
birth, was found HIV-infection free in a round of medical checkup earlier this
year. A CNN report said it happened quite easily. Her antiretroviral medication
was stopped when she was 15 months old. She was found infection free when she
was taken for diagnosis at her second birthday. Scientists believe it could have
been due to the high-dose of the combination of three antiretroviral medicines
given to the baby within 30 hours of birth.
It was only the second claim of
HIV cure and the first in case of a child after the ‘Berlin Patient’ Timothy
Ray Brown was declared HIV-cured in 2007.
Then there have been other claims
of cure and advances in the medical R&D on HIV-AIDS telling us the sincere
work is being done in-spite of the global geopolitics on providing funds for
The ‘Berlin Patient’ is not a patient
anymore. The miracle Mississippi
baby is not HIV-infected anymore. They are ‘functionally cured’ of HIV
That is the science part of
HIV-AIDS epidemic. The scientific achievements and improvements do give us
reasons to hope for a better life and enhanced protection and security from the
killer medical circumstances of the viral epidemic, but its sociological aspect
leaves us staring in the dark, damaging in process, whatever little the medical
Yes, there are attempts globally
to create and spread awareness about HIV-AIDS to reduce and end the
discrimination against the infected people. There are multiple campaigns
running globally and nationally in many countries. Work being done by India’s NACO
(National AIDS Control Organization) is exemplary. There are many transnational
agencies working out tirelessly to make the societies more inclusive for the HIV-AIDS
Events like the World AIDS Day
are telling examples of the hard work being put into. From a one-day event, it
has been extended into a theme-based campaign running throughout the year.
Though, it is the 25th
anniversary of the World AIDS Day this year, if we, still, cannot talk about
the progresses made in containing HIV-AIDS in a satisfactory way, it is because
of the social discrimination and apathy towards the HIV-AIDS affected.
The social stigma associated with
HIV-AIDS continues. And it is universal. The discrimination - it is not just by
the uneducated, less educated, unaware, or poorly-aware, but it is also by the
people considered to be from the social classes who could show the way in
bringing the HIV-AIDS affected to the mainstream of the society, thus giving
them the dignified life they deserve, just like you and me. Reports are common
that even doctors refuse the treatment once they find the patient is HIV/AIDS
affected. Schools refuse or expel such students. Societies, even the most
civilized ones, from the upper, opulent level of the social formation, easily
make the HIV/AIDS affected an outcast.
The HIV-AIDS affected, who can
live a normal life, just like you and me, if we let them, not treating them as
outcasts – they form a large part of the global human population - WHO and
UNAIDS put them at 35.3 million. How can we exile them, leave them to die?
Whatever small or big achievements
we achieve medically year-on-year to talk about on days like the World AIDS
Day, we, as a society, cannot head anywhere until we check this problem, until
we give the HIV-AIDS affected people a life that we live, until we see them as
the normal people just like us, until we give them their right to a dignified
life back that we have usurped from them.
Science can lead us to the
control and cure of the pathological symptoms of HIV-AIDS, but what about our
very own pathological symptoms that push us to treat the HIV-AIDS affected
people as the social outcasts?
They need our care, our support, the
emotional connect, to win the fight against HIV-AIDS. Can’t we give them their