Over the last couple of months, i formed an alliance with Raheel and Bar to contribute to Raheels original idea of Red ribbon – which aims to facilate all Hiv/Aids required needs such as treatment, testing , counselling and legal issues under one organisation in india.
At first i wondered what could i contribute since
1. I don’t live in india and didn’t actually go there until january this year(which was how this project started)
2. im not going to be able to do any topical market research onto th issue’ espcially if the market itself is it india.
But i thought i give it a go anyway.
In order to understand what Hiv/Aids is all about, i had to get myself into the head of a person which Hiv and understand what such a person who has this condition would required and want.
Cause there’s not Cure for Hiv, a person would have to be given treatment for the rest of their life, some of the treatment bring about horrible side effects which dampens one life. It is this reason that any HIV resource and information avaliable should be the best and the most reliable since this disease affects all their aspects of their lives.
In this country, Hiv counts for less than 1% of the population (86,500), where as in india acounts for over 1% ( 2.31 million people) Reletive to population. We must also remember that this statistics are based on those who are tested and came out positive. A high majority of people can have Hiv and not show any symptons hence not even know they have Hiv.
“UNAIDS estimated that there were 5.6 million people living with HIV in India, which indicated that there were more people with HIV in India than in any other country in the world”
India has another disadvantage in its sigma and attitude towards the disease.
“In India, as elsewhere, AIDS is often seen as “someone else’s problem” – as something that affects people living on the margins of society, whose lifestyles are considered immoral. Even as it moves into the general population, the HIV epidemic is still misunderstood among the Indian public. People living with HIV have faced violent attacks, been rejected by families, spouses and communities, been refused medical treatment, and even, in some reported cases, denied the last rites before they die.
As well as adding to the suffering of people living with HIV, this discrimination is hindering efforts to prevent new infections. While such strong reactions to HIV and AIDS exist, it is difficult to educate people about how they can avoid infection. AIDS outreach workers and peer-educators have reported harassment,74 and in schools, teachers sometimes face negative reactions from the parents of children that they teach about AIDS”
This strongly suggest for a well established, well funded and well known organisation to come in and provide the best and reliable treatement and information for those with Hiv and those who could potentially have it.
Education and reassurance is vital with this diseases, i recently got myself tested for HIV in the uk, although i wont disclose my sexual life, there have been times where i may have doubted myself.
The more research i did into Hiv, the more worried and the more paranoid i got( it doesn’t help that im a hypochondria)
Testing is difficult in itself because you have to wait a period for the disease to show in the blood (uk guideline states 3 month after possible exposure). This already puts me off from testing since i have to suffer with the anxiety and stress for for that duration to wait for to see if i have a disease or not. To some extent, this put me off from testing – and reseaarch online shows that the waiting for test result could take so long that those may not take the test- or even show up to see their results(risking the possibility that they might be positve)
There are test now however that can show up after 28 days of exposure to unprotected sex – this shortens the time to wait but is not provdied in the uk Nhs and on provided in private clinic for a fee.
I decided to pay this fee £130 for my peace of mind. You be glad to know that im Hiv negative.
At the end of this experince, i come out with a fresh perspective on how to live my life and the world is in general, i look at life so much differently now and i honestly try not to take any moment of my life for granted… i realised how fragile we as human beings are…
During my time research HIV, i came accross many information on multiple pages on HIV. i Decided to arrange an appointment with the doctor at the private clinic to ask a few more questions on Hiv. This should give me better insight on up to date information on Hiv.
I get back to you next week.