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Seven months of service at a government hospital in rural India right after my MBBS graduation doesn’t make me an expert in matters relating to health . Neither should that hold me back from putting across something which demands action and further more, careful planning . Yes , I am talking about the plight of the many HIV positive patients dwelling in the grueling darkness of horror and helplessness across the country . Having been dissected by action panels time and again , the scenario has definitely come out of its veils to brighter response over the years . But still , the same question continues to hang in the air as dubious as ever – ‘ Have we done enough ‘ ?
During my short stint as a medical officer at a government hospital , I came across a couple of HIV patients who used to frequent the OPD demanding a particular medicine to help them get some sleep at night . The same drug which is normally prescribed at a particular safe dose was in government supply which these patients are very well aware of . Having had the opportunity to talk to one of those patients in my opd one day , I enquired whether he has completed his ART ( Anti Retro Viral Therapy ) . Much to my surprise I realized that he hasn’t taken any treatment at all , though it has been conveyed to him years before that he was retro positive . He told me “ You tell me , will I be cured of this disease forever if I take the treatment ? I wont be , I know. Then why should I even bother ! “ . Try as I might , I failed to evoke any positive response In him towards what he, as a patient should be doing, for the sake of him and the people around him .
Disheartening to know that such dejected minds exist in the silent corners of our country fighting against the harrowing arrows of this dreaded disease all alone . Definitely , actions are being taken at the best of governments capabilities , atleast close enough, such that the disease is being curbed . But incidents like these project the gravity of the situation much more to the limelight . Have we done enough ? Then why do people like him still exist in gallows in the nooks and corners of our country ?
|Picture source : Google Images|
I strongly believe that the cleansing ought to begin from the root levels . Be it unhealthy sexual practices or drug abuse, the problem has burrowed to unimaginable depths . HIV positive mothers give birth to babies unaware of the fact that a lot could be done to save atleast their babies from the clutches of the same disease which has torn their life apart to shreads . The prime step is to let people realize the fact that contracting the disease isn’t the end of their life . Amongst all the adverse effects , there is one truth that this fast paced generation teaches us – that a lot can be achieved in a days time . When the situation remains so efforts should be directed at creating proper awareness that appropriate Anti retro viral therapy clearly extends the life of the diseased years forward , given that they dedicate themselves for the same at the earliest .
Its high time that the taboo ruling the society in the name of HIV be destroyed . They deserve a healthier tomorrow just like each one of us . Also its high time we realized that there is little use in waiting for the last hour to make the much needed correction . With the disease having chewed up their cells and gradually their minds too there is practically nothing the doctors can do to revive them back to their normal lives . Prevention , and in this case proper awareness as well , definitely is better than cure .